Occupy DC: Two Days Two Raids
On Saturday, February 4, the Federal Parks Police raided the Occupy DC encampment at McPherson Square. Less than 24 hours later they are at it again at Freedom Plaza. Live streaming video of the violation of protesters rights can be viewed here.
Equipped with riot gear, mounted troops, and hazmat suits, the police executed a twelve hour clearing of McPherson Square that culminated with the violent assault of peaceful protesters and a total of nine arrests. Despite recent forewarning of the potential assault on the camp, protesters seemed disorganized and unprepared to mount any effective defense.
After the initial assault on McPherson Square, when an attack against Freedom Plaza was imminent, protesters still seemed either unable, or unwilling, to offer any resistance to police violation of their First Amendment rights. Considering the 24 hour warning of the Freedom Plaza raid, protester numbers were extremely low. Rather than offer obstruction or disobedience, protesters seemed easily managed by police and behaved more as spectators than victims of an assault on their inalienable rights.
The only concrete plans that have been publicly shared by Occupy protesters in DC is to convene a General Assembly at 4pm EST in McPherson Square. The main focus of the upcoming conversation seems to be whether or not they will continue the Occupy movement without actually occupying anything.
The idea of surrendering the actual occupations in favor of simply using the brand ‘Occupy’ in a manner compliant with establishment laws, consistent with traditional establishment activism, is being championed by several establishment activists who have taken the roles of facilitator or organizer within the movement while spending little or no time supporting or maintaining the actual occupations. How this conversation is conducted, and the outcome of this conversation, should be interesting. It can be viewed LIVE here beginning at 4pm EST.