As many as twenty arrests were made at the Occupy DC protest in Washington on Sunday after occupiers assembled a two-story wooden structure from sections that had been constructed off-site and refused police orders to remove it.
Protesters told reporters that the building was needed to provide shelter as winter weather sets in. “It is a symbol saying we can rebuild the country together,” one added. “As Americans together we can rebuild the country, we don’t really need the government for that.”
Police indicated they had no intention of evicting the occupation as a whole but declared the structure to be “unsafe and illegal” and gave the protesters an hour to dismantle it.
Several protesters then stood on top of the unfinished building to prevent it being torn down. At that point, the police moved in on horseback and began making arrests and attempting to break the structure down.
Investigative reporter Timothy Shorrock, who arrived on the scene as the standoff with the police — which had begun in the late morning — was under way, tweeted at about 4:00 PM, “A forklift has arrived to take down the #occupydc structure. Seven people still on the roof. A few hundred ppl surrounding them. Cops angry.” He added slightly later, “Cops brought in metal barriers over last hour. About 150 ppl surround police surrounding the structure. Maybe 20 inside now.”
Other observers have tweeted that one police officer had refused a supervisor’s order to use a taser on a protester who was being arrested. At the time of writing, however, more police were arriving and were surrounding the camp, blocking off access from adjacent streets, and even ordering the closing of a nearby Starbucks.
Photo by Nicholas Kamm from AFP.