Nearly three dozen people were arrested during a night of unrest in downtown Washington, D.C., that began Saturday with rallies supporting President Donald Trump and descended into chaos and violence as a group with ties to white nationalism roamed the streets looking to fight. For most of the day, police largely kept opposing factions separated, at times frustrating the Proud Boys, a male-chauvinist organization that supports Trump’s attempts to reverse an election he lost. Confrontations broke out after dark, when Proud Boys and their supporters ventured near Black Lives Matter Plaza and were prevented access by police, many using bicycles as mobile barricades, reports the Washington Post.
Four people were stabbed, one critically, during a scrum near a downtown bar that served as a Proud Boys hangout where hundreds had gathered, some dressed in body armor and helmets, and where many had been drinking in the street for hours. The Proud Boys, in a post on an encrypted social media account, identified at least one of the victims as belonging to their group. D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham estimated there were as many as 700 Proud Boys or people supporting their cause and about 200 anti-Trump protesters. The chief said officers were “trying to prevent any of these groups from coming together and getting involved in altercations. It was a lot of work.” He said eight officers were injured, one seriously from being struck in the face with an object, causing multiple fractures.