Sunday, February 5, 2012

Occupy DC: Police clear Occupy DC camp in riot gear cleaning out one of the nation's last protest sites

Dozens of U.S. Park Police officers in riot gear and on horseback converged before dawn Saturday on one of the nation's last remaining Occupy sites, with police clearing away tents they said were banned under park rules.

That move left large swaths of open space and raised questions about exactly what would remain of the encampment.

Still, police said they were not evicting the protesters. Those whose tents conformed to regulations were allowed to stay, and protesters can stay 24 hours a day as long as they don't camp there with blankets or other bedding. Police threatened to seize tents that broke the rules and arrest the owners.

The police used barricades to cordon off sections of McPherson Square, a park under federal jurisdiction near the White House, and checked tents for mattresses and sleeping bags and sifted through piles of garbage and other belongings. Some wore yellow and white biohazard suits to guard against diseases identified at the site in recent weeks. Officials also have raised concerns about a rat infestation. Read More