- John Podesta eats crow: ‘I apologize to Speaker Boehner’
- U.S., China race to finish line on ‘invisibility cloak’
- Obama ‘cavalier’ in hiding foreign aid order, judge rules
- Prince Charles: Muslims are driving Christians from Mideast through persecution
- Gitmo’s first commander: Close the prison down
- Google’s newest photography find: Just wink and shoot
- Detroit’s Heidelberg art project hit by 8 fires in 8 months
- Pa. police pull people over for random DNA tests for feds
- NASA pushing hard to get back into space game
- Harvard student to face federal charges for bomb hoax
Police raid Occupy D.C. camp
Question of the Day
Police in riot gear and cleanup crews in hazardous materials suits began enforcing no-camping laws in McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza over the weekend, resulting in intense — and often physical — confrontations with Occupy D.C. protesters who resisted their efforts.
At least 12 people were arrested during the weekend enforcement actions, and the majority of tents that made up the McPherson Square camp were removed along with truckloads of trash. One police officer was injured Saturday when he was struck in the face with a brick.
Police on Sunday engaged in a compliance check to ensure protesters at the Freedom Plaza camp were obeying health and safety regulations, but the action was not as confrontational as the clash at McPherson Square on Saturday.
The enforcement began about 6 a.m. Saturday, with police closing streets around McPherson Square as they conducted a tent-by-tent search for camping equipment and people sleeping. Officers took down a tarp, dubbed the "tent of dreams" by protesters, that had been placed over the statue of Civil War Gen. James McPherson in the center of the square.
Muddy sleeping bags, wooden pallets and even three dog shelters were removed and hauled away in bags loaded on the back of a flatbed truck.
Police said Sunday they had found human feces, urine in plastic bottles, used condoms and rats — alive and dead. Some of the equipment was tagged and bagged and for protesters to claim beginning Monday morning at U.S. Park Police headquarters.
In a scene that was repeated several times Saturday, police at McPherson Square shoved confrontational protesters out of areas of the park they planned to clear, while demonstrators chanted and hurled obscenities at officers.
Later in the afternoon, as police approached the protesters' "library" tent, tensions mounted and shoving matches broke out as officers on foot and on horses attempted to force demonstrators out of the park and onto adjacent sidewalks and streets. Children could be seen among the demonstrators being forced out of the park. Police used a stun gun to subdue one demonstrator.
Occupy protester Thi Lee was caught in the push. She said she was jabbed a few times as police came through the area.
"They just started coming in and shoving people around," she said. "I just got caught up on it. I was like, 'I can´t believe they're doing this.' "
Park Police spokesman Sgt. David Schlosser said the enforcement was a way for police to address "nuisance abatement" and "not an eviction."
To the occupiers, there was a different message.
"This is just another American foreclosure," protester Brian Eister said.
The National Park Service served notice earlier in the week that authorities would begin enforcing no-camping statutes at McPherson Square and a few blocks away at another occupy camp in Freedom Plaza, sites where protesters have camped since early October.
Protesters, for the most part, did not interfere early on during Saturday´s raid, as officers and maintenance workers combed through abandoned tents. Protesters argued that even the tents that appeared to be empty were necessary to protect visitors from the elements.
Protester Robert Dilley said the police action at McPherson Square was mostly peaceful but complained that police "lied to us."
"They are destroying Occupy D.C.," he said.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Meredith Somers is a Metro reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Obenshain concedes Virginia AG race to Herring, ending recount
- Obenshain to concede Virginia AG race
- Mega Millions players dream of a green Christmas with lottery jackpot at $636 million
- Obenshain raises ballot security issue in Va.
- Washington honors an 'African son' at Mandela service at National Cathedral
Latest Blog Entries
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Fourth Amendment says Obama is not at liberty to collect metadata
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- Half of America strips religion from Christmas
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Army to cut up to 4,000 captains and majors
- 'Duck Dynasty' star Phil Robertson: Gays 'wont inherit the kingdom of God'
- Prevention of school massacre shoots down arguments for Colorado gun control laws
- Zadzooks: The Joker sixth scale figure review (Sideshow Collectibles)
- CARUSO: Driving off Russian aggression with U.S. natural gas
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Right-brain investing in a left-brain world. You can do it. I can help.
News and views on the Civil War.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow