Images and videos on social media show demonstrators exchanging barrages of fireworks, and police intervening on several downtown streets.
“Moments after I took this video, fireworks exploded at the front entrance of the Hyatt Hotel,” Washington Post reporter Marissa Lang tweeted. “Proud Boys and anti-fascist [Antifa] protesters had been starting to brawl at the entrance.
She also said police pepper-sprayed a group of protesters a few blocks away and later reported that at least two people had been stabbed, citing fire officials.
A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police Department said earlier there had been six arrests in connection with the demonstrations as of early Saturday evening, but she could not say on what charges. The department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the after-dark clashes.
Several unverified videos on Twitter posted during the protests from the area appeared to show people bleeding being treated by police.
At least one police officer was injured in the clashes, according to D.C.-based ABC 7 News, which tweeted video of her being helped away by fellow officers.
Police separated the groups, shut down traffic in parts of downtown D.C. and sealed off Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House.
At one point, a group of Proud Boys allegedly ducked through an alleyway to sidestep police and confront Antifa, according to the Post Millennial’s Matthew Miller.
Subsequent videos captured, the sounds of stun guns going off, fireworks and demonstrators coughing after reportedly inhaling pepper spray. Despite aggressive and graphic language between both groups of protesters and counterprotesters, police appeared to quickly intervene and keep them apart in numerous videos.
Antifa and PB briefly clash on K st. Police break them up. pic.twitter.com/Agq2gN5YjV
— Matthew Miller (@mattmiller757) December 13, 2020
Wiith Trump flags and hats, and a few face masks, they gathered at Freedom Plaza near the White House chanting “Four More Years” and “Stop the Steal.”
Organizers of the Women for America First rally were expecting 15,000 participants for the rally and march to the Supreme Court.
One speaker at the rally, retired Gen. Michael Flynn who was Trump’s former national security adviser, told the crowd he was confident Trump would remain in office.
“When people ask me…on a scale of 1 to 10, who’s going to be the next president of the United States? I say: 10, Donald J. Trump … without hesitation.”
“The fraud that is being perpetrated on the United States of America through this previous election is outrageous,” Flynn told the crowd. “It’s outrageous. We will not accept it.”
Trump appeared to be pleasantly surprised by the show of support.
“Wow! Thousands of people forming in Washington (D.C.) for Stop the Steal,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning. “Didn’t know about this, but I’ll be seeing them! #MAGA”
Trump later departed the White House in Marine One en route to the Army-Navy football game at West Point. Crowds cheered below the “fly-over” from the commander-in-chief.
Trump aide Dan Scavino tweeted an aerial picture with a message to the crowd. “Thank you, Patriots.”
During the last major “Stop the Steal” rally in D.C. on Nov. 14, Trump and his motorcade drove through the downtown D.C. crowd to wave to supporters before heading to his golf resort in Virginia.
Other speakers at the Women for America First demonstration included “My Pillow” guy Mike Lindell and former Trump aides Sebastian Gorka, Boris Epshteyn and Katrina Pearson, who encouraged supporters to keep up the fight to overturn the election results.