Most protesters arrested on Inauguration Day will face felony rioting charges, federal prosecutors say

WASHINGTON -- Most of the approximately 230 protesters arrested on Inauguration Day will be charged with felony rioting, federal prosecutors said. 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the offense is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The office said most of those arrested will be released without having to post bail and must return to court in February. 

A first group of 10 men appeared in Superior Court just before 3 p.m., and their lawyer entered a not guilty plea on their behalf. A judge released all of them on the condition they not get re-arrested in the District of Columbia. 

Interim D.C. police chief Peter Newsham said Friday that 217 people were being charged with rioting. 

The arrests took place in a four-block stretch of downtown Washington around the time of President Trump’s swearing-in ceremony. 

The arrests came after some protesters created chaos. Windows of downtown businesses were smashed, and police deployed pepper spray and “sting balls” against the crowd. 

The protesters were armed with crowbars and threw objects at people and businesses, destroying storefronts and damaging vehicles. 

Six police officers were hurt -- three of them hit in the head with flying objects, CBS affiliate WUSA reported. According to the station, the six had minor injuries.

Also Saturday, hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets in Washington for the Women’s March on Washington. Demonstrators also turned out in cities across the U.S. and the world. 

Wearing pink, pointy-eared “pussyhats” to mock the new president, crowds massed to send Mr. Trump an emphatic message that they won’t let his agenda go unchallenged over the next four years.

The women brandished signs with messages such as “Women won’t back down” and “Less fear more love” and decried Mr. Trump’s stand on such issues as abortion, health care, diversity and climate change. Their message reverberated at demonstrations from New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles to Paris, Berlin, London, Prague, Sydney and beyond.