Saturday, February 4, 2012

The End of Occupy DC

On Saturday, February 4, 2012 in Washington, D.C.'s McPherson Square, U.S. Park Police in riot gear, some on horseback, along with a hazmat team, raided the Occupy DC encampment and set up a perimeter around the park and began to clear out tents, bedding, debris and other belongings with forklifts and trucks.

They said they were enforcing the no camping regulations and not evicting the demonstrators.

This occurred in front of protesters, onlookers and the media on a cool, rainy, dreary winter day in the Nation's Capital.

Streets were blocked off to traffic around McPherson Square by the Metropolitan Police Department traffic enforcement division.

While many in the Occupy movement are criticizing the heavy-handed tactics and unnecessary show of force by law enforcement, the U.S. Park Police are actually doing the movement a favor by shutting down the encampment. It will allow the next phase of the movement to begin, whatever that may be.

Occupy DC was one of the last remaining encampments after other cities such as New York had evicted their demonstrators. Frankly, the encampment at McPherson Square was beginning to become an eyesore and attracting anarchists and others not interested in reshaping our democracy to benefit the 99% but in destroying the system altogether. And the reports of rats and filthy conditions were becoming a distraction from the main message of this movement, which is to address the unsustainable social and economic inequality in America.

The slogan "you can't evict an idea" that gained traction after Zuccotti Park was cleared out, will certainly apply to Occupy DC. Their heroic actions and sacrifice on behalf of working people everywhere will always be honored and one day there will be a plaque at McPherson Square remembering the brave men and women who slept under the stars to dream of a better America. But for now, it's time to move on.

Here are more pictures taken Saturday afternoon of the end of Occupy DC at McPherson Square.