Occupy DC shuts down K st for hours, 62 arrests, one hospitalized

On the 7th of December, Occupy DC and union protesters under the name of "Our DC" both swarmed onto downtown K st, with Occupy DC setting barricades at 15th st, Vermont Ave, and 14th st. K st was shut down for over three hours, and a total of 62 people were arrested, some of them roughly. Meanwhile, there was a report that one occupier had to be take to GW hospital for treatment after a police horse stepped on her foot.

One Twitter report counted 126 cops cars just on K st. Another, earlier report estimated the number of protesters as "no less than 600." A Faux News report in the evening reported "thousands" including the union activists as well as Occupy DC.

The day begin with a morning march in drenching rains to the lobbyists for General Electric and a Wells Fargo bank, demanding that both GE and Wells Fargo pay back the bailout money they got from the taxpayers. I missed the early march, arriving at around noon for the main event.

There was also a report that Our DC and/or SEIU protested against a lobbyist at 11th and G sts during some part of the mid-day.

The main action on K st began shortly after 11 AM, with Occupy DC setting barricades on K st while union protesters marched at first on sidewalks, but then they too took the street when they arrived on K st. At one point there was a large SEIU presence between Connecticut Ave and 16th st on K st, and three barricades set by Occupy DC at Vermont Ave, 15th st, and 14th st.

At this point, Occupy DC literally had tents pitched in the middle of K st, giving new meaning to "Occupy K st!" The tents were backed up by baners, wooden pallets, and newspaper boxes, setting barricades to stop vehicles from driving into protesters. There was still one incident of a car driving into protesters (myself included) but this time without injury.

It was around 2PM that police started pushing back, from west to east. First SEIU marchers came and reinforced one of the barricades, only later did I realize they had been driven from their original position. The first two barricade positions were abandoned after the third arrest warning, but the final barricade at 14th and K sts refused to move.

I personally saw some reckless conduct by some of the police at the 14th and K st intersection. The injury was not at all a surprise given that the police rode horses through protester lines and over any protesters on the ground at that time. The horse charges were finally stopped when arm-locked protesters sat down on the street.

Quite a number of protesters were carried by police either holding themselves rigid or stretched out straight by police, at one point there were chants that sounded like "That's not safe" which would be to warn police of dangerous conduct like at Sunday's eviction of the People's Pavilian.

K st was not reopened until about 3:30 PM, I had seen it closed at noon, so K st was shut down for at least 3 1/2 hours, at the expense of dozens of arrests and one person injured by a cop's reckless riding of a horse.

(note-there are some bad transitions near the end, I had to recover some files from a bad camera card and they acted screwy in the editor)