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Dozens Arrested Over Wooden Structure At Occupy DC

Dozens Arrested Over Wooden Structure At Occupy DC

In the wee hours of Sunday morning, participants at Occupy DC began building a prefabricated wooden structure in the Occupy Wall Street encampment at McPherson Square

The ‘People’s Pavilion’ was designed by professional architects and engineers to provide shelter, warmth and space for Occupy DC General Assemblies during the winter months.

Almost 12 hours after Occupiers began assembling the structure, Federal Park Police arrived at McPherson Square to order that the structure be disassembled. The police communicated that all who remained inside the structure would risk arrest.

After an emergency General Assembly, a police line was erected to encircle the structure, according to the Occupy DC website. Anyone who stepped between the structure and the caution tape was subject to aggressive arrest. As of 3pm 12 people had been arrested for crossing the police line, including three inside the structure.

According to U.S. Park Police spokesman Sgt. David Schlosser, the protesters had not gone through proper permitting procedures for the structure and “police had safety concerns regarding structural integrity.” A city inspector was brought in to examine the building and deemed it unsafe, posting orange “danger” signs on its shell.

But members of Occupy DC insist that the modular structure was designed by professionals ‘to code’.

It meets all health and safety requirements and is fully accessible, states the Occupy DC website. It is non-permanent, has no foundations and is not tethered to the ground. It’s designed to be movable every four days to protect the grass beneath the structure. The structure is fully sustainable–it is built to be entirely passively solar-heated and will feature a hydroponic irrigation system on the roof.

By 7 pm 15 of the 31 people detained by police were arrested for crossing the police line. The other 15 were charged with disobeying a lawful order after police ordered them to vacate the structure.

The NY times reports that “despite some disputes and a few confrontations, the Occupy D.C. protesters have had a relatively smooth relationship with the police, without the clashes that have occurred in other cities when officers have moved in to carry out mass evictions.”

At a time when thousands of native District homeless struggle to survive in extreme weather conditions, Occupy DC feels that the structure makes a positive statement for equal housing opportunity and sustainable living.

“In a culture and city with chronic homelessness and foreclosures, this structure is a symbol of what people working together under principles of mutual aid can accomplish with limited time and resources,” said Occupy DC member Robert Stephens. “The police response demonstrates that our system is not committed to building up–they’re only concerned with tearing down.”

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Image Credit: Flickr – Daquella Manera

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82 comments

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4:57PM PST on Dec 6, 2011

It appears that the Federal Park Police are students of history, No, I not talking about slavery, at least not now, I am referring am old quote make by, none other than Teddy Roosevelt, who once said, "Speak softly and carry a BIG stick, you will go far." And all the while, the devil is over there in the corner, just laughing.

Support the Occupy movement, you will go far.

2:55PM PST on Dec 6, 2011

In the last paragraph below, it should read,

We have been victims of Censorship, of course, it takes two forms: information withheld and information that is given but fails to reveal the whole truth. The former is called editing, the latter, advertising, is the most blatant form, PROPAGANDA.

At the end of the day, none of us wishes to find ourselves uttering these words:
"Seek peace where we can, seek revolution where we must."

2:53PM PST on Dec 6, 2011

Do any of you remember an old adage, "The lesser of two evils." I would have to say that if there were any time where that saying would apply, it is now, it would be the Occupy Movement.

Let us take a moment and examine the issue, we have Occupy Sites around the nation, but what is this Occupy Movement and what are our stated goals?

A former soldier, a Vet injured at Occupy Oakland recently declared, “I swore to uphold and defend the constitution from enemies foreign and domestic and I’m continuing to do that.”
Scott Olsen

Without revisiting the entire issue, you will find the answer in earlier posts, in this article, besides many of you have come to realize what the Movement is and what it is not. As for the issue, is the Movement breaking the law...Yes. Are we law breakers, but technically...No.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
Mahatma Gandhi

Within our list of grievances lies the true criminals, the Koch Bros, Monsanto, ADM, Cargill, Dow, Exxon, Bank of "America", Halliburton, ZE, and all the others that refuse to pay their fair share of taxes, who continue to lobby Congress for unneeded substitutes, the procurers of Weapons of War, those who would create a false flag operation to secures their financial bottom line.

We, me and you, have been victims of Censorship, of course, it takes two forms: information withheld and information that is given but fails to reveal the whole truth. The

2:51PM PST on Dec 6, 2011

Continued from above, (sorry no character counter)

The crimes that these "people" have committed and continue to commit are far more severe than Occupying a Park. We are not out to poison your water or air, we are not stealing from your purse, we are not killing your children, we only seek speak the truths that need to be heard, by all Americans. We are committed to sharing those truths and to continue our struggle long after the majority of you have join ranks with us, we are the same, the 99%.

When one of you loses his or her home, your hurt is ours, when one of you losses your job, we lose something, the people of this nation has been told that we must that they must endure and that you must be ready to endure what comes ahead, in the near future. All of that is tantamount to telling soldier that he must fight, but we will need to take your weapon.

You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind. Mahatma Gandhi

The people have arrived at a place where they have been stripped bear, what is left to fight for and with what. We still have time, it is up to all of us to demand that those of have ruled our lives for so long to cease or we shall remove you.

"At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done. Then they begin to hope it can be done. Then they see it can be done. Then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago."
--Frances Hodgson Burnett, Am

2:49PM PST on Dec 6, 2011

Continued from above:

We, have been victims of Censorship, of course, it takes two forms: information withheld and information that is given but fails to reveal the whole truth. The former is called editing, the latter, advertising, is the most blatant form, PROPAGANDA.

The crimes that these "people" have committed and continue to commit are far more severe than Occupying a Park. We are not out to poison your water or air, we are not stealing from your purse, we are not killing your children, we only seek speak the truths that need to be heard, by all Americans. We are committed to sharing those truths and to continue our struggle long after the majority of you have join ranks with us, we are the same, the 99%.

When one of you loses his or her home, your hurt is ours, when one of you losses your job, we lose something, the people of this nation has been told that we must that they must endure and that you must be ready to endure what comes ahead, in the near future. All of that is tantamount to telling soldier that he must fight, but we will need to take your weapon.

You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind. Mahatma Gandhi

The people have arrived at a place where they have been stripped bear, what is left to fight for and with what. We still have time, it is up to all of us to demand that those of have ruled our lives for so long to cease or we shall remove you.

"At first people refuse to be

2:49PM PST on Dec 6, 2011

Continued from above:

We, have been victims of Censorship, of course, it takes two forms: information withheld and information that is given but fails to reveal the whole truth. The former is called editing, the latter, advertising, is the most blatant form, PROPAGANDA.

The crimes that these "people" have committed and continue to commit are far more severe than Occupying a Park. We are not out to poison your water or air, we are not stealing from your purse, we are not killing your children, we only seek speak the truths that need to be heard, by all Americans. We are committed to sharing those truths and to continue our struggle long after the majority of you have join ranks with us, we are the same, the 99%.

When one of you loses his or her home, your hurt is ours, when one of you losses your job, we lose something, the people of this nation has been told that we must that they must endure and that you must be ready to endure what comes ahead, in the near future. All of that is tantamount to telling soldier that he must fight, but we will need to take your weapon.

You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind. Mahatma Gandhi

The people have arrived at a place where they have been stripped bear, what is left to fight for and with what. We still have time, it is up to all of us to demand that those of have ruled our lives for so long to cease or we shall remove you.

"At first people refuse to be

1:17PM PST on Dec 6, 2011

This is !#$%ing ridiculous. If a bunch of people have the chutzpah to camp out in public parks/spaces in !#@$ing DECEMBER, they ought to earn a lot more respect from local government than they do. If someone believes in something so much to sleep outside when it's below freezing, they should be respected enough to at least allow them to keep the stuff they brought there or built there.

This is just disrespectful to peaceful protesters, the American people, and the United States Constitution. These people are doing no wrong, yet they are being cracked down on like they're dealing drugs. This makes me sick. Who the !#$% is the mayor/police chief in D.C.? I want to write them a real dead-tree letter about how illegally they are acting.

12:34PM PST on Dec 6, 2011

Seems our police are showing that they will do whatever there told whether its moral or not. These people are there because our govt is so corrupt today it isn'y even funny. Did you know the whitehouse not only bailed out AIG and wall street but also did some shadow bailouts to a bank that has claimed they never asked for or recieved a bailout. And the name of that bank that got over 1 trillion dollars in a shadow bailout was none other than Bank of America. We need to reign in our govt and the corruption in washington Dc and the whitehouse and wallstreet.We need to end the 24 lobbyists per polititian in washington also. At least these people are doing something and should be congradulated for standing up to our corrupt govt and not berratted by fools who have no clue.

12:26PM PST on Dec 6, 2011

the Nazi thugs will not allow any shelter or compassion. our country has become a police state.

9:32AM PST on Dec 6, 2011

With the Mayan Calender ending next year and it dictating great change,one can only wonder. Will O.W.S have any meaning then? Will the 99% win, or will this all be a Police State? Maybe the Sons of the American Revolution will rise and fight for our rights. Well I am a Proud Firearms Owner with Ammunition. Thank you for the article...

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