Crowds gather at Black Lives Matter Plaza on election night

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA – NOVEMBER 3, 2020: Local residents gather in Black Lives Matter Plaza, a section of 16th Street, on Election Day. On November 3, 2020, the United States elects its president and vice president, 35 Senators, all 435 members of the House of Representatives, 13 governors of 11 states and two US territories, as well as state and local government officials. Incumbent Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden are running for president. Yegor Aleyev/TASS (Photo by Yegor AleyevTASS via Getty Images)

People watch a big screen displaying the live election results in Florida at Black Lives Matter plaza across from the White House on election day in Washington, DC on November 3, 2020. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

white house election protest
A demonstrator holds up a sign while waiting for election results at Black Lives Matter Plaza, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

dc white house protest
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA – NOVEMBER 3, 2020: Supporters of Joe Biden, a candidate in the 2020 US presidential election, gather in a street near the White House on Election Day. On November 3, 2020, the United States elects its president and vice president, 35 Senators, all 435 members of the House of Representatives, 13 governors of 11 states and two US territories, as well as state and local government officials. Incumbent Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden are running for president. Yegor Aleyev/TASS (Photo by Yegor AleyevTASS via Getty Images)

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District of Columbia Metropolitan Police attempt to arrest a demonstrator who was blocking their efforts to remove an illegally parked truck at Black Lives Matter Plaza, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

<p>Stations have been set up to hand out water and snacks to protesters in Black Lives Matter Plaza on Election Day.</p>
Stations have been set up to hand out water and snacks to protesters in Black Lives Matter Plaza on Election Day.

<p>A protester wears a costume and holds a sign denouncing President Donald Trump.</p>
A protester wears a costume and holds a sign denouncing President Donald Trump.

Protesters gather near the fencing that surrounds the White House on Black Lives Matter Plaza on Election Day.

An anti-Trump protester kneels in front of a broken plaster Make America Great Again hat in Washington, DC, on November 3, 2020 as demonstrators rally near the White House. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP) (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

<p>Crowds continued to grow around 5 p.m. near Black Lives Matter Plaza.</p>
Crowds continued to grow around 5 p.m. near Black Lives Matter Plaza.

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - NOVEMBER 3, 2020: A man waves an anti-Trump banner during the 2020 general elections. The USA elect a president and vice president, 35 Senators, all 435 members of the House of Representatives, 13 governors of 11 states and two US territories, as well as state and local government officials. Incumbent Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden are running for president. Yegor Aleyev/TASS (Photo by Yegor AleyevTASS via Getty Images)
A man waves an anti-Trump banner during the 2020 general elections.

Crowds gather at Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House on Election Day, Nov. 3, 2020.

A mural dedicated to late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg adorns a layer of plywood covering the windows of a business in downtown D.C.

Murals have been hand painted on pieces of plywood boarding that cover the glass on storefronts. Some businesses are worried about possible unrest similar to what the city experienced over the summer.

A La Colombe boarded up its windows ahead of the results of the 2020 general election.

Demonstrators gather at Black Lives Matter Plaza outside the White House, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Demonstrators gather at Black Lives Matter Plaza outside the White House, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Washington.

A man walks past messages on a fence around Lafayette Square near the White House on Election Day in Washington, DC on November 3, 2020. - Americans were voting on Tuesday under the shadow of a surging coronavirus pandemic to decide whether to reelect Republican Donald Trump, one of the most polarizing presidents in US history, or send Democrat Joe Biden to the White House. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
A man walks past messages on a fence around Lafayette Square near the White House on Election Day in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 3, 2020

Demonstrators stop to pray outside the White House, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Demonstrators stop to pray outside the White House, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Washington.

District of Columbia Metropolitan Police stand watch as demonstrators gather outside the White House, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
D.C. police stand watch as demonstrators gather outside the White House, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Washington.

A demonstrator going by the name Azul Azul sits on a sidewalk outside the White House, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A demonstrator going by the name Azul Azul sits on a sidewalk outside the White House, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Washington.

EDS NOTE: OBSCENITY - Black Lives Matter Plaza, near the White House, is quiet early on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
EDS NOTE: OBSCENITY – Black Lives Matter Plaza, near the White House, is quiet early on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - NOVEMBER 2, 2020: A police car parked by Lafayette Square near the White House ahead of the 2020 general elections. On Election Day, November 3, the country is to elect a president and vice president, 35 Senators, all 435 members of the House of Representatives, 13 governors of 11 states and two US territories, as well as state and local government officials. Incumbent Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden are running for president. Dmitry Kirsanov/TASS (Photo by Dmitry KirsanovTASS via Getty Images)
A police car parked by Lafayette Square near the White House ahead of the 2020 general elections.

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - NOVEMBER 3, 2020: A man holds an anti President Donald Trump flag on Election Day. On November 3, 2020, the United States elects its president and vice president, 35 Senators, all 435 members of the House of Representatives, 13 governors of 11 states and two US territories, as well as state and local government officials. Incumbent Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden are running for president. Vladimir Kostyrev/TASS (Photo by Vladimir KostyrevTASS via Getty Images)
A man holds an anti-President Donald Trump flag on Election Day.

Activists opposed to the Trump presidency are dressed as characters from the dystopian "Handmaid's Tale," as they demonstrate at the Capitol on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Activists opposed to the Trump presidency are dressed as characters from the dystopian “Handmaid’s Tale,” as they demonstrate at the Capitol on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Washington.

Around 3 p.m., a crowd of around at least a few hundred had gathered in Black Lives Matter Plaza.

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white house election protest
dc white house protest
dc blm scuffle
<p>Stations have been set up to hand out water and snacks to protesters in Black Lives Matter Plaza on Election Day.</p>
<p>A protester wears a costume and holds a sign denouncing President Donald Trump.</p>
<p>Crowds continued to grow around 5 p.m. near Black Lives Matter Plaza.</p>
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - NOVEMBER 3, 2020: A man waves an anti-Trump banner during the 2020 general elections. The USA elect a president and vice president, 35 Senators, all 435 members of the House of Representatives, 13 governors of 11 states and two US territories, as well as state and local government officials. Incumbent Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden are running for president. Yegor Aleyev/TASS (Photo by Yegor AleyevTASS via Getty Images)
Demonstrators gather at Black Lives Matter Plaza outside the White House, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
A man walks past messages on a fence around Lafayette Square near the White House on Election Day in Washington, DC on November 3, 2020. - Americans were voting on Tuesday under the shadow of a surging coronavirus pandemic to decide whether to reelect Republican Donald Trump, one of the most polarizing presidents in US history, or send Democrat Joe Biden to the White House. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
Demonstrators stop to pray outside the White House, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
District of Columbia Metropolitan Police stand watch as demonstrators gather outside the White House, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A demonstrator going by the name Azul Azul sits on a sidewalk outside the White House, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
EDS NOTE: OBSCENITY - Black Lives Matter Plaza, near the White House, is quiet early on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - NOVEMBER 2, 2020: A police car parked by Lafayette Square near the White House ahead of the 2020 general elections. On Election Day, November 3, the country is to elect a president and vice president, 35 Senators, all 435 members of the House of Representatives, 13 governors of 11 states and two US territories, as well as state and local government officials. Incumbent Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden are running for president. Dmitry Kirsanov/TASS (Photo by Dmitry KirsanovTASS via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - NOVEMBER 3, 2020: A man holds an anti President Donald Trump flag on Election Day. On November 3, 2020, the United States elects its president and vice president, 35 Senators, all 435 members of the House of Representatives, 13 governors of 11 states and two US territories, as well as state and local government officials. Incumbent Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden are running for president. Vladimir Kostyrev/TASS (Photo by Vladimir KostyrevTASS via Getty Images)
Activists opposed to the Trump presidency are dressed as characters from the dystopian "Handmaid's Tale," as they demonstrate at the Capitol on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Amid boarded-up downtown businesses and increased “anti-scale” fencing around the White House, hundreds gathered at Black Lives Matter Plaza to rally and await the results of the 2020 presidential election Tuesday.

The rally unfolded relatively peacefully throughout the afternoon and evening except for a few scuffles, but as crowds were dispersing shortly before midnight, a group of several hundred protesters began marching elsewhere throughout the city.

WTOP’s Alejandro Alvarez reported that this group consisted of “black bloc” protesters, who tend to be more radical and often conceal their identities. He said the protesters launched flares as they wound their way through the streets, many carrying black umbrellas to shield their faces from the cameras.

Earlier in the afternoon, it was a very different scene as hundreds of people, including members of Shutdown DC And Black Lives Matter DC, gathered around the White House. Alvarez said the event was not a coordinated rally. Rather, people were mostly waiting for the election results and watching coverage of the races on projection screens that had been set up at Black Lives Matter Plaza and McPherson Square.

Alvarez noted that many organizers said they would wait until the results were in before deciding what to do next.

At times the mood was festive, with people dancing and singing, but frustrations were also on display.

Gabriel Pietrorazio — one of the University of Maryland student journalists covering the elections for WTOP — spoke to Don Folden, founder of Capital Buddy Tours, who said he hopes the political divisiveness ends after the 2020 election.

“What I’m trying to do is get people to stop hating each other because they disagree,” he said. “It’s interesting because some of the people who hate each other like the same music. They have a lot of things in common, but they only focus on what they don’t have in common.

“This division, this hatred – it’s got to stop.”

By the time Alvarez returned to the BLM Plaza around 1:30 a.m., he said about 100 people were still milling around, including members of the media. But with the presidential race essentially in a dead heat and inconclusive, the mood was far more somber than it was earlier in the day.

At the White House, Alvarez reported that parts of the newly enforced fencing had posters on it warning against ticket scalping and underage drinking.

This is a developing story. Stay with WTOP for more details. 

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