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WASHINGTON, D.C.—At around 3 p.m. today, inaugural protesters pulled down a section of the security fence around 14th Street Northwest. The fence had kept protesters, and the general public, away from the parade route.
Police responded by gassing the crowd.
Trouble today began a couple of hours earlier, shortly after President Bush concluded his inaugural address, with a crowd of perhaps 1,000 protesters marching down 16th Street toward the White House. People filled four or five city blocks. The group included women who had been protesting at Dupont Circle, along with anarchists and miscellaneous protesters.
As this march moved down 16th Street, police began breaking up an anarchist march also going down 16th Street toward the White House. Reporters standing with Bush supporters watched as police attacked the anarchists with what appeared to be pepper spray.