Occupy DC protesters in standoff with police as eviction deadline passes

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/30/occup-dc-protesters-standoff-police

Demonstrators in Washington refuse to comply after National Park Service orders the camp to be cleared on hygiene grounds

guardian.co.uk, Monday 30 January 2012

Occupy demonstrators in Washington DC have chosen to stand their ground in the face of newly-enforced anti-camping regulations – but protesters worry the authorities could move in at any moment.

The National Park Service in Washington announced it would enforce existing anti-camping rules – which bar demonstrators from holding camping gear, bedding and cooking supplies – at two parks that have served as a home to Occupy DC protesters since the fall. In response, demonstrators have turned the central feature of McPherson Square, a statue of General James B McPherson, into a makeshift tent, and have refused to comply with the orders.

The regulations have largely gone unenforced since the occupation of McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza began in October, but from noon on Monday, the NPS said that would no longer be the case. Critics of the protest camps cite health concerns and an alleged rat infestation as grounds to remove the demonstrators, but some see the sudden vigour to enforce the regulations as a pretext for eviction. Legba Carrefour of Occupy DC described the renewed enforcement of the anti-camping rules as “death by a thousand bureaucratic cuts.”

By noon, the confrontation that many expected had not come, and a standoff began. Protesters in McPherson Square had draped a so-called “tent of dreams” over the statue and people quickly gathered inside.

Protester Caty McClure said there were “at least 50” people gathered inside the giant tent. A speaker explained that the tent represents the protesters’ dreams of a America where corporations could not guide the democratic process, and where housing existed for all. Gathered around the statue the protesters chanted: “Let us sleep so we can dream.” Protesters have surrounded the statue with smaller personal tents.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/30/occup-dc-protesters-standoff-police

2 Responses to “Occupy DC protesters in standoff with police as eviction deadline passes”

  1. Andrea B. Says:

    I believe it is only a matter of time now before an Occupy protest ends in extreme violence with serious loss of life.

  2. tinagrrl Says:

    So, you think the police will go totally bonkers? I don’t think they will be ALLOWED to do that — after all, every time they beat up on protesters, the public supported the protesters.

    Mayor Bloomberg of N.Y.C. give the occupy movement a huge boost when his storm troopers abused occupy folks – with no provocation — except existing, and not bowing down to their “authority”.

    Loss of life would seriously change the dynamic. Always remember, the “hippie terrorists” of the 1960’s might have destroyed property, but other than themselves, I think one person was killed — and that was an accident. More folks were killed by various police and national guard units.

    If there is loss of life it would most likely come from “law enforcement” in an attempt to “keep the peace”.

    The question is — what would the reaction of the greater occupy movement be? Would it lead to an escalation, or would it splinter the movement — the way it did in the 60’s?

    I guess our masters will have to depend on their COINTELPRO folks to gauge the mood of the protesters.

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