Occupy DC storms headquarters of American Natural Gas Association
Earth Week direct action continues! On the 18th of April, Occupy DC stormed into the building housing the lobbying offices of the American Natural Gas Association, overwhelmed the security guard, and charged up 7 flights of stairs bound for their 8th floor offices.
In addition to the lobbyists supporting natural gas “fracking” which contaminates drinking water, the same building also houses the lobbying offices of Wal-Mart. Probably both are conscious of intense political opposition to their activities and have secured their offices accordingly.
As in the previous day’s Canadian Embassy/tar sands protest, Occupy DC activists did not march to the target, instead travelling separately in small groups before assembling as a whole and walking into the building, stepping up the pace when challenged.
Although the building security guard made no attempt to physically to resist Occupy DC’s far greater numbers, since she retained control of the security desk she was able to shut off the elevators. Either she telephoned a warning to the 8th floor to lock their stairwell door, or that door is routinely locked. There were multiple unlocked exits to lower floors from the stairwell. This, of course, was something the lead element of the team should have verified before allowing the exit door to close behind the trail element of the team.
Entry to the 8th floor offices would have required a battering ram and/or crowbars, tools not carried by Occupy DC and probably an escalation beyond the level Occupy wanted to take things to. An alternate target on the 7th floor was suggested. I don’t know for sure what that was, but Wal-Mart is somewhere in the building. The 7th floor exit from the fire stairs was also locked,
That being so, with the 8th and 7th floor exits locked, Occupy DC said “frack this” and descended back the way they came and mic-checked the lobby.
As at the Canadian Embassy the previous day, Occupy DC was able to complete their mission and clear the area before police could effectively respond, exiting the scene just as the first two cops arrived.
The previous day’s action left the Canadian Embassy swarming with cops for hours, wonder if that was also true of the gas fracking protest?