Washington welcomed Mikhail Gorbachev to his first full day in America with a classic display of democratic discord.

On the other side of the White House from the imperial pomp of a 21-gun salute and a fife and drum corps, the drumbeat of angry protests pounded on throughout a day of formal diplomacy.

In Lafayette Park across from the White House, along the sidewalks of Pennsylvania Avenue and near the Soviet Embassy, a festival of free speech unfolded for the benefit of thousands of journalists and onlookers.

Hare Krishna worshipers chanted and banged drums for disarmament. Christian evangelists took to loudspeakers to urge the American and Soviet leaders to abandon their talks and leave the future to their savior. Hundreds of shouting Afghans filled the sidewalk in front of the White House, chanting, "Die for freedom, kill for freedom."

Law enforcement officials said they arrested 33 demonstrators around the city.

Fifteen supporters of Soviet Jews sang Hebrew prayers and sat on 16th Street at K Street NW as city police calmly bound their wrists in plastic cuffs, arresting them for demonstrating less than 500 feet from the Soviet Embassy.

U.S. Park Police said they arrested 17 members of an Afghan group that clashed with Islamic fundamentalists on the sidewalk in front of the White House. National Park Service spokesman Earl Kittleman said two protesters were charged with disorderly conduct after fighting with members of the Afghan Revolutionary Movement; the other 15 were charged with demonstrating without a permit. All 17 were released after posting $50 bond, Kittleman said.

And D.C. police said they arrested David Steinbacker, 34, of Dunn Loring near L Street as he allegedly charged toward Gorbachev's limousine with a football he pulled out of a briefcase. Steinbacker, who did not throw the ball, was charged with disorderly conduct, punishable by a $25 fine.

The intense security surrounding the first day of the summit occasionally snarled downtown traffic as streets were cleared for diplomatic motorcades. But vehicles moved steadily through most of the day, even along streets bordering the high-security zone around the Soviet Embassy and the Madison Hotel.

An army of officers, including D.C. police working 12-hour shifts, separated demonstrators from diplomats, checked out bomb threats (all unfounded), and cleared a path for Raisa Gorbachev's 45-minute driving tour of the city's monuments.Civil Disobedience

The squealing cry of the shofar, or ram's horn, sounded the start of the civil disobedience staged by supporters of Soviet Jewry at 16th and K streets, one block south of the Soviet Embassy.

There, Jews from New York, Florida and Washington joined with relatives of "refuseniks" -- Soviet citizens denied permission to leave their country -- in a somber and peaceful walk across the police line marking the legal boundary for demonstrations.

"Deliver my soul from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue," said Bronx, N.Y., Rabbi Avraham Weiss, reading from Psalm 120, which he interpreted as a commentary on Gorbachev's glasnost policy.

Helmeted police, some wearing protective gloves like those used during gay rights marches this fall, arrested the protesters, including two rabbis, without incident.

"I would be happy to speak quietly," said Joseph Mendelevich, a former refusenik who spent 11 years in a Soviet prison before being allowed to move to Israel. "But our world is so crazy that we have to use every possibility to make people care about the Soviet Jews. If it is not dramatic enough, people are not interested."

Police led the protesters, many of them wearing blue-and-white prayer shawls and dressed in business suits, to a bus that took them to the D.C. Jail. The 13 men and two women each posted $50 bond to be released; they are subject to a $100 fine or up to 60 days in jail, police said.

Ira Dashevsky, who pleaded for her father's release from the Soviet Union, said the D.C. police, unlike those in her native land, "are not enemies. They understand our situation. You can see from the look on their faces."

Lafayette Park was the main stage for yesterday's pageant of protest. A snapshot of one sidewalk there: Evangelists who believe in a Taiwanese prophet named Elijah Hong. Sikhs speaking out for peace in the Punjab. A Presbyterian minister carrying a golden bird cage with a "sacred dove" inside.

Antinuclear activists handing out menus from "Ronnie Reagan's Hot Wars to Go," a fictitious restaurant offering Steamed Nicaragua, Crushed Grenada and a side order of Half-baked Opposition. Three George Washington University students calling for baseball in the District. And three girls from suburban Maryland who took off from school to ask for peace.

"What's a summit without baseball?" said Eric Inglis' sign. Inglis, a Soviet studies major at George Washington University, started his demonstration for major league baseball expansion Sunday night at the Soviet Embassy. But no one there paid him any mind, so he joined the ranks of other protesters in the park.

"The winter meetings are going on in Dallas right now, and this is the time for action," he said. "We also wanted to make the point that we're not really on the edge of Armageddon now."

The sports-minded students drew a stream of television coverage, and Jennifer Butler was not amused. The 11-year-old Silver Spring girl held a sign announcing herself as one of the "Kids for Peace." "It's not a laughing matter," she said. "This is about our future and theirs, too."

"We don't want to worry that we could be blown up," said Dawn Woollen, 12.

Protesting is not as easy as it looks, as Amber Alvarez, who is 12, quickly learned. "The first time someone came over with a microphone in my face, I froze up," she said. "Now I'm a little more experienced."

At least one demonstrator came without affiliation.

"I waited 42 years for this day, getting rid of some of these atomic weapons," said Paul Piccarilli, a World War II veteran and retired steel maker from Pittsburgh. "Even if I'm 200 feet from the White House, I can say I was here. It's a great day for humanity."

And three teen-agers from Annapolis came to mount the ultimate metaprotest. "Protesting Against Protestors," said the sign around Kirk Nelson's neck.

The day's larger demonstrations reflected narrower and more emotional causes.

Last night, about 250 natives of the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia stood across from the White House protesting the Soviet occupation of their homeland. "We are not going to let Gorbachev eat his caviar over there without remembering who's over here," Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) told the audience.

Three Ethiopian groups -- representing the major ethnic groups of Ethiopia -- Oromos, Eritreans and Ethiopians -- marched earlier in the day against Soviet support for the government of their homeland. And about 750 Afghans shouted in unison through the White House gates, aiming their anti-Soviet messages at the rooms in which President Reagan and Gorbachev met.

Joining them was Rep. Robert K. Dornan (R-Calif.), who was driving from his Virginia home to the White House greeting ceremony for Gorbachev when he decided that "my place is with the victims." He skipped the ceremony, joined the demonstration, and, as Raisa Gorbachev left the White House, held up a T-shirt showing the word "Afghanistan" dripping with blood.

"I had a good morning," the congressman said.

At 11:15 a.m., Alexandria architect Sayed Tora, a member of the Islamic Unity of Afghanistan, emerged from a fight in Lafayette Park with broken eyeglasses and blood running down his face.

Eight mounted policemen surrounded Tora's apparent attacker and took him away. Tora and the others said the fight stemmed from opposing attitides toward the deposed Afghan king, Mohammed Zahir Shah.

"I don't know if you'd call them crazies, but they come out," said Assistant Police Chief Isaac Fulwood Jr. "They can grab the headlines in this kind of environment."

For extra security, D.C. police used several radio channels and portable phones for sensitive communications. Police would not disclose the number of officers assigned to summit security. "We've got just about everyone in the world out here now," Fulwood said.

At the Soviet Jewry demonstration, 91 officers assembled to handle a crowd of 29 protesters and about 40 journalists.Duplicate Motorcades

At 6:35 p.m., with Gorbachev due at a state dinner at the White House, a motorcade charged south on 17th Street NW, sirens blaring, lights flashing.

But soon after that, D.C. police blocked traffic and even diverted joggers. About 7:10, another motorcade rushed past, this time with no sirens or flashing lights, but with tiny American and Soviet flags on the limousines.

Was the first motorcade a decoy?

"I can't say," a D.C. police officer said, adding cryptically, "Was traffic stopped earlier? You figure it out."

Security reached a new level of intensity at the Madison Hotel, home to most of the Soviet delegation.

The 207 Soviets at the hotel are being served meals on a single floor. And Edwin and Linda Johnson, American guests at the Madison, said a policeman insisted on escorting them into the hotel even after they showed him their room key.

There are more than 100 non-Soviet guests at the Madison, including singer Pearl Bailey, who had a cheese-and-eggs breakfast, and industrialist Armand Hammer, who has a coveted lapel button allowing him to go to floors 11 and higher, where the Soviets are.

For many of the curious, the place to be was along concrete barriers that closed the embassy's block on 16th Street.

There, more than 100 onlookers traded snippets of information gleaned from a quick climb onto a utility box or a glance at Gorbachev's 14-car motorcade. The Soviet leader, who could not be seen inside the Zil limousine with tag 6821 MMA, was protected by swarms of police and other agents. Officers stood on roofs of nearby buildings, scanning the area with binoculars.

Helicopters circled overhead. A solitary man in a knit cap stood atop the Soviet Embassy, set in profile against the gray sky.

At 9 a.m., Sandy Leighton stood at the barricade at 16th and L streets, stamping her feet for warmth. The marketing analyst was determined to stay until she saw Gorbachev leave. "This is like waiting to see Michael Jackson," she said.

About 40 bystanders groaned as security men dropped a white curtain from a canopy in the embassy driveway, blocking the crowd's view.

At 9:36, a Soviet driver flipped on the ignition of a big black Zil. It took two tries to start the car. Soviet guards and drivers passed the time by taking snapshots of each other in front of the embassy.

A few minutes before 10, the limousine and a motorcade of Secret Service and police cars pulled rapidly away from the embassy.

"There he is," Leighton screamed. "I only got to see the rear end of the limo, but it was worth it."

"What a bust," said Ellen Fenoglio, a consultant who said she wanted "to see history. I guess we saw historic cars."

Similarly, journalists and tourists hoping for a glimpse of Raisa Gorbachev saw little more than cars. She got out of her limousine only once, for a few moments at the Jefferson Memorial, during her State Department-sponsored tour of the city. The 11:30 a.m. visit caught the National Park Service by surprise. "She was there and gone," spokesman Kittleman said.

On a day of roaring motorcades and screaming protesters, it was hard to maintain tradition.

Every day at noon, Ann Chamberlin and Paul Duncan go to Lafayette Park during lunch break to feed the squirrels. "But today we had to eat our own peanuts," Duncan said, "because the squirrels are so upset by the activities that they won't come down from the trees."Staff writers Karlyn Barker, Victoria Churchville, Lynne Duke, Patrice Gaines-Carter, David Hilzenrath, Eric Charles May, Eugene Meyer, John Mintz, Laura Sessions Stepp, Molly Sinclair, Linda Wheeler, Michael York and Jeffrey Yorke contributed to this report.