A U.S. marshal and at least one Occupy D.C. member were injured Tuesday during a clash on Capitol Hill, when members of the grass-roots protest group attempted to block a home eviction.
Despite the injuries and traffic jam caused by squad cars and protesters, no arrests were made.
Surveying the scene unfolding in the 900 block of Maryland Avenue Northeast, Michael Burroughs, a 59-year-old neighbor, said the protest started out peacefully. When he saw a marshal being taken away with a bandaged head, “that’s when all hell broke loose.”
According to Lynzey Donahue, spokeswoman for the U.S. Marshals Service, an officer was injured during a scuffle to remove a human chain and blockade made of crates from the front door of the olive-green row house.
“I understand that was when the door was being broken down,” Ms. Donahue said, adding that the marshals were on site to assist with the court-ordered eviction.
Occupiers also corroborated the report that the officer was injured by the door rather than a member of their protest group. One male Occupy protester was taken to an ambulance by stretcher, and it was later reported he had injuries to his arm and neck.
Another man associated with the protest lifted his shirt for reporters to show a raw, red rash down his side that he said was caused by the brick steps officers dragged him down.
Around 8 a.m. the protesters began their fight to keep Dawn Butler in the home she’s been renting for six years.
Less than three hours later, dozens of heavily armed marshals and D.C. police officers stood guard in the small front yard. The protesters, having been moved off the property by officers, spilled out into the street to make room for the men removing the home’s furnishings.
According to Ms. Butler, the home was foreclosed on several years ago, but she was not offered the option of buying the residence, nor was the landlord informed of the eviction.
Surveying her possessions with her mother, Ms. Butler said she planned on getting a storage locker for her things, and she wasn’t worried about finding a place to stay Tuesday night.
Ms. Butler said she had called members of Occupy D.C. in anticipation of the eviction. Some of them spent the night at the house.
“I love them,” she said. “They have my back.”
Occupy D.C. gained notoriety last autumn when more than 100 people took up residence in McPherson Square. In early February the U.S. Park Police enforced its no-camping rule and scattered members of the protest around the city, though they continue to protest at political events and rally for local causes.