Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters marched in the streets of Washington, D.C., where demonstrators scuffled with police officers and the crowd shouted threats to “burn down” the nation’s capital.
On Saturday night, members of BLM and Antifa protested in D.C., where they regularly chanted, “If we don’t get it, burn it down!”
Independent photojournalist Brendan Gutenschwager shared videos from the protest in D.C., where Antifa members waived an “Antifascist Action” flag as they marched.
The crowd yelled the popular Black Lives Matter phrase, “Whose streets? Our streets! Whose streets? Our streets!”
During the “FTP March” (an acronym for “F*** The Police”), the mob shouted the anti-police battle cry, “A.C.A.B. All cops are bastards!”
The demonstrators stopped near a row of restaurants, where protest leaders delivered lectures about “race, Black and Indigenous lives” to nearby diners.
At one point, things escalated after a black bloc protester shined a light into the face of a police officer, who then slapped away the flashlight. The black bloc member retaliated and smacked the police officer. The officer then pushed the crowd back by using his bicycle. The black bloc protester then slaps another cop. The officer thrusts his bike even more aggressively into the crowd dressed in all black. During the tense situation, a female in the crowd tells the officer to put his face mask on.
The BLM march ended with a speech honoring Eric Garner, according to Gutenschwager.
“We are here tonight because black lives matter,” the BLM crowd repeated after the main speaker. “Despite black lives mattering, black people are still dying at the hands of the police paid for by our tax dollars.”
The group recited the story of Eric Garner, a New York man who died while in police custody in 2014. During the story, the crowd called police officers the derogatory name of “pigs” on multiple occasions.
There were then several chants of “I can’t breathe!”
Washington, D.C., has been heavily guarded since the Capitol riots on Jan. 6. There were more than 26,000 National Guard troops in D.C. before President Joe Biden’s inauguration.
“There are currently about 7,000 National Guard members in the city providing security,” ABC News reported. “That number is expected to slowly go down to 5,000, and they are set to stay until about mid-March. The total cost for the deployment is expected to be close to $500 million.”
The U.S. Capitol building has been fortified with barricades and fencing, which many are calling for the structures to be removed.