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Occupy DC Forcefully Evicted, Protesters Injured, Arrested, Under Pressure from Congress's Richest Member

What had started as a politically-tinged eviction of an entirely peaceful encampment had suddenly turned into an aggressive display of force by the National Park Police officers.

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Stunned but unhurt, Hillary Lazar, a local artist and member of the library committee, said the library holding of more than 1,000 books had not been damaged during the police action.

Laura Potter, a retired Army nurse on disability, watched in disbelief as her green tent was trampled.

“They’re only here to protect the people in government,” she said of the police, leaning on her metal crutch. “They’re not listening to the people. They’re listening to Darrell Issa. They’re using their sticks on people when they should be using their badges to protect them.”

As the rain continued to fall, 40 officers stood in a long line looking grim. The protesters called an impromptu general assembly in the middle of K Street. On the boulevard that houses the city’s leading law firms and lobbying shops, these young radicals reviewed the events of the day with yet another mic check.

“We have seen unprovoked violence toward the occupation in DC” began one speaker, and the crowd of perhaps 50 people repeated his words.  As  people recounted the best and the worst things about the day, their spirits seems to rise. “We changed the discourse of this city,” said one man. Another pointed out that President Obama lived less than two blocks, and the chant “Obama is responsible” went up. A third man criticized the movement for not cultivating local political allies who might have protected the camp.  ”It is time for us to take this occupation out into every neighborhood of this city,” he said. “On the edge of the crowd, Ryan Gomez, a perennially cheerful 24 year old occupier was shaking his head but smiling. “We’ll be back  tomorrow,” he  assured me. “This movement is not going away.”

As tempers cooled and rain let up, the agitated but proud protesters traded hugs, tears and stories while the stoic but equally proud cops retreated silently into the night, their mission accomplished. The ability of the federal government to clear the streets of peaceful protesters had been established, while those who speak for the 99 percent in the nation’s capital could boast they had exposed the face of 1% power. In the battle of McPherson Square both sides could claim a victory in a struggle that is sure to continue.

 
 
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