More than a thousand people protesting against US President Donald Trump have descended on Black Lives Matter Plaza, just a short distance from the White House.
Scattered protests also took place from Seattle to New York City, but across the US there were no signs of serious violence or widespread unrest in the hours immediately after the polls closed.
The demonstrations in Washington were largely peaceful, with people shouting, “Whose streets? Our streets!” and “If we don’t get no justice, they don’t get no peace!”
Groups of teenagers danced in the street as onlookers cheered. Large banners, including one reading “Trump lies all the time”, were unfurled.
At one point, the marchers stabbed the tyres of a parked police van to flatten them.
Hundreds of people marched in anti-Trump demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, with several arrested.
“This is what democracy looks like,” protesters chanted in Portland, where organisers said the demonstration would be peaceful and that regardless of the presidential election result, they would continue protesting in support of racial justice. The sheriff’s office said some protesters were openly carrying guns.
In Seattle, police said they arrested several people, including someone who put nails in a road and another who drove over a barricade and into a police bike lane. No one was injured.
Hundreds of businesses in cities across the US boarded up their doors and windows ahead of the election, fearing the vote could lead to the sort of violence that broke out earlier this year after the death of George Floyd under a Minneapolis police officer’s knee.
“Some people would like to cause mayhem and trouble,” Washington mayor Muriel Bowser said earlier in the day. She said she had never seen so many businesses being boarded up.