The Proud Boys, a men’s-only far-right group with ties to white supremacy organisations and which supports Donald Trump, fought with far-left group the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, outside the White House after the communist group burnt American flags.
The far-right group was seen being escorted through the streets of the capital by police officers, and at one point were filmed chanting “blue lives matter”, in support of the police. Blue Lives Matter is a counter-movement to the Black Lives Matter movement, which campaigns against systemic violence and racism against black people.
A member of the Proud Boys was filmed walking down a police-lined road, apparently fist-bumping several officers.
According to journalist Ford Fischer, who witnessed and filmed the clashes and the police fist-bumping the member of the far-right group, three communists were arrested, with one let go immediately.
Another photojournalist, Zach Roberts, said police directed the Proud Boys to a conservative bar and joined them in their chant: “I like beer”
The opposing communist group burnt two American flags, while chanting “burn baby burn”, and shouting “America was never great”.
The group calls for revolution in the US and the overthrow of capitalism.
— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer)
None of the Proud Boys were arrested, according to reports, and two police officers were injured.
The US Secret Service said: “At approximately 5.30pm today US Secret Service uniformed division officers responded to an incident that occurred on Pennsylvania Avenue involving an individual who was burning an American flag outside the limits of a permit that had been issued by the National Park Service.
“Two individuals were arrested, one for felony assault on a police officer and malicious burning, the other for obstructing a police investigation and resisting arrest.
The DC police not only escorted the Proud Boys around town, gave them directions and at one point chanted with them... also gave them fist bumps while smoking s stogie. https://t.co/Vhq3br8UPY
— Zach D Roberts (@zdroberts)
“One individual was transported to a local hospital for minor injuries … Two officers with the Secret Service Uniformed Division received minor injuries while attempting to make arrests and were transported to a local hospital for treatment.”
It wasn’t only in the streets where confusion reigned. In a televised address to the nation, Mr Trump claimed the US revolutionary army “took over the airports”, capturing them from the British in 1775. No airports existed until the 20th century.