Eight months have gone by since chants about corporate greed and government accountability echoed off the office buildings in downtown Washington, but on Monday, protesters plan to take up their flags and megaphones once again as part of the one-year anniversary of Occupy D.C.
The Storm K Street and Shut Down K Street events are scheduled for 7 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., respectively, and include nearly three-dozen business and bank targets for rallying points for participants.
“People are under the illusion we have a system that works … all of us here are frustrated with the system around us,” said Lacy MacAuley, an Adams Morgan resident who was one of the first people in the Occupy D.C. movement. “The problems that brought each of us here are still here.”
Ms. MacAuley said she expects “a little friction” from officers Monday, but it is “anybody’s guess at this point” as to what the final outcome of the march will be.
Last December, more than 60 people were arrested when Occupy D.C. protesters marched down K Street, blocking intersections and drawing curious employees to their windows to watch as police hauled away people who laid down in the middle of the street.
For nearly five months, Occupy D.C. had a strong presence in the city, setting up headquarters in McPherson Square where up to 250 people were living in tents and shacks. Once a popular spot for employees working in nearby buildings to take their lunch breaks, the park’s grassy yard became a patchwork of tarps, colored flags, and dull brown mud.
Park police raided the camp in early February, clearing the devastated park of dirty sleeping bags, broken wooden pallets and several dead rats buried beneath the detritus.
The protesters disbanded in many directions, some going back home to states across the country, while others accepted the charity of friends and family around the D.C.-area.
In June, a handful of the protesters clashed with U.S. Marshals as they opposed the eviction of a woman from her Capitol Hill home. A protester and marshal were injured during the scuffle.
Eleven protesters were found guilty over the summer of failure to obey police orders during an emergency, charges that stemmed from a day-long standoff last year between occupiers and police.
In September, several protesters from the District traveled to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., where they marched and camped for several days.
On Sunday, McPherson Square — the Northwest park that was the cite of the tent city — showed signs of life as several dozen people milled about in small groups or painted signs in preparation of the coming week’s events.
Today the park is surrounded with wire fence that protects new grass. The one quadrant of open lawn is on the southwest side, where a ring of flowers was in full bloom beside a small group of protesters meeting in the sun.
Pausing to embrace a familiar face passing by, 30-year-old “Kenny,” said he expects Monday’s protest to be “well-received.”
“This is a protest-friendly city, and the capital of the United States,” he said. “I don’t think we’ll be received negatively. After a year, a lot of people came to accept that whether they’re making money or not … everybody is losing.”View Entire Story
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Meredith Somers is a Metro reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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