On Saturday, the U.S. Park Police went through the Occupy DC tents in McPherson, removing those that were serving as homes for the protesters. Campaign/sleeping is prohibited in the park. The huge majority of the tents were removed and McPherson Square on Sunday was mostly barren, except for some tents around the edges of the park.
However, tents dedicated to the “political goals” were left in place — for now. Earth-moving equipment was also being used to grade the park’s surface. Teams of National Park Service (NPS) employees were standing at the edge of McPherson Square in white jumpsuits with a distinctively “biohazard cleanup” look to them. Several Park Police officers were on horseback, overseeing the rest of the NPS work on Sunday.
A spokesman for Occupy DC told Borderstan on Sunday afternoon that “more tents would be going up tonight, ones that will be dedicated to the political aims of the movement.” Another Occupy DC member said that “occupying the National Mall” was next.
The status of Occupy DC in McPherson Square is probably not resolved. Dcist has a good writeup on what may come next, including legal actions planned by Occupy DC. Lydia DePillis at Washington City Paper has a good story on what exactly happened in McPherson Square on Saturday — and figures it’s probably time for the Occupy DC to figure out what do next.
The Occupy DC sprang up after similar Occupy movements took hold in large U.S. cities. The broad political goals are to draw attention to income inequality in the United States, financial institution regulation and unemployment. The movement started in New York as Occupy Wall Street in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park. Another major Occupy movement was in Oakland, California.
McPherson Square is just south of the Logan Circle neighborhood and the park is actually located inside the boundaries of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2F.
Unless you’ve tuned out all forms of communication you now know about the “Occupy Wall Street” protests and their various offshoots across the country. There are now hundreds of similar rolling protests in cities across the country. Their general theme is reform of the financial sector and help for the struggling U.S. economy. “We are the 99%” is the rallying cry — a reference to wealthiest 1% of Americans whom the protesters believe should pay more in taxes.
So, how do you feel about the protests here in DC? Will you join them?