D.C. Metro police used smoke and pepper grenades as well as small flash bang bombs as they tried to retake certain streets in northwest Washington Friday afternoon. So far, the inaugural parade and the new president and vice president have been untouched by the violence blocks away.
"Unfortunately, a small group was determined to disrupt these vents today not by peaceful or civil disobedience, but by unlawful and dangerous behavior," said Interim Police Chief Peter Newsham.
Several vehicles were damaged or torched, including a limousine set ablaze by demonstrators as authorities tried to disperse the violent crowds using pepper spray. A Bank of America and a Starbucks were also vandalized. Donald Trump's signature hats were used as kindling by protesters to start some street fires.
While reporters on the scene say they law enforcement also launch flash-bang grenades for crowd control, D.C. police claim those devices were actually thrown by protesters.
Some of the violent protesters covered their faces and wore dark clothes in the style of the black block anarchist group that caused a ruckus in Chicago during the 2012 NATO Summit.
Chicago entrepreneur Genevieve Thiers, who runs the Rise movement and is leading a group to DC for Saturday's Women's March on Washington, spoke with the I-Team from Washington on Friday afternoon.
"The city is kind of tearing itself apart...There's a lot of smoke in the air, people knocked over two trash cans and lit them on fire. People are in the trees and on top of the bus stations. At one point, people started running, which was really scary. I learned later that a guy had smashed out a window of a car and tried to drive it into a crowd, so the National Guard kind of came in," Thiers said.
After what Thiers witnessed Friday, she said she is frightened for Saturday's march. Her Rise movement - an economic action group - has more than 100 people coming on buses from Chicago to take part in the march.
"All of a sudden everyone starts to run and there's smoke and you don't really know what you're breathing or you know, why you're running. It's a little bit nuts," Thiers said.
There also were anti-Trump protests around the world, including in London, Hong Kong and Berlin -- where demonstrators held a sign that read, "Walls divide." In the West Bank, Palestinians protested against Israeli settlements and Trump's plan to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
Demonstrators are blocking traffic by Trump Tower on Fifth Ave and getting arrested by NYPD. pic.twitter.com/7SFPYFWQcG— Jason Chu (@JasonC1219) January 20, 2017
In New York, seven people were arrested at a demonstration outside of Trump Tower, according to the New York Police Department.
CNN contributed to this report.