Police arrest 12 during ‘Take Back the Capitol’ rally
WASHINGTON — US police made a dozen arrests near the White House on Wednesday as more than a thousand demonstrators converged in the latest protest against corporate greed and inequitable distribution of wealth.
After an hour of face-to-face talks, officers including some on horseback, started to detain demonstrators who had blocked a busy intersection in the heart of the capital.
One senior policemen had used a megaphone to repeatedly warn the protesters they were at risk of arrest if they continued to block the road.
The demonstration followed one held on Tuesday at the offices of the US Congress, where hundreds of activists backed by labor unions and civic groups held what they called a “Take Back the Capitol” rally.
This week’s protests are loosely linked to the “Occupy Wall Street” settlements that that have been dismantled in many other American cities.
Wednesday’s rally was held on Washington’s famed “K Street” — epicenter of the city’s lucrative lobbying industry — on the second day of a three-day protest event.
On Thursday, protesters plan to hold a day of prayers and speeches from religious leaders.
The Occupy Wall Street movement sprang up in New York in September and protests against the bailout of Wall Street corporations and economic inequity later spread nationwide.
For the most part, Occupy Wall Street encampments appear to remain strong in Washington, including at “The People’s Camp” — a 15-tent settlement on the National Mall, a grassy esplanade between the White House and the US Capitol.
However, since the break-up of the Occupy Wall Street camp in New York in November, authorities in several other cities have dismantled several similar makeshift encampments.
The loosely-knit protesters have promised similar demonstrations this week in Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York and other cities around the United States.