On Novembver 17, a global day of action for the Occupy Movement, Occupy DC backed up union protesters demanding infrastructure repair jobs. The unions protested at bridges around the US, selecting Key Bridge for their protest in DC.
While tens of thousands in NY marched on the Brooklyn Bridge in NY, Occupy DC marched from McPherson Square, took over Georgetown streets, and marched to the pedestrian sidewalks of Key Bridge.
Cops were really sweating about the chance that protesters would decide to block the bridge. The Virginia cops were reported to have full riot gear as well as tow trucks in case the scenario from the first day of the Iraq War was repeated. On that day, protesters emerged from the Metro to block Key Bridge, assisted by two “batmobiles” or junk cars abandoned in blockading positions. Even earlier than that time, striking sanitation workers during the 1990’s once blocked the 14th st bridge by parking garbage trucks on it.
The DC cops did not show up in riot gear, but the did line the curbs between sidewalks and streets at the bridge-and refused to allow ANY pedestrians to use the crosswalks closest to the bridge.
This time around, Occupy DC chose not to block the bridge, doing so would have been entirely possible by deploying units just outside the police defenses to cut off access to the bridge from the DC side.
Police problems were limited to a horse cop running into someone and a motorcycle cop riding too close to but not striking protesters when an Occupy DC contingent took over the Georgetown streets for a second time while marching back to McPherson Square from the bridge.
This was the largest protest in Georgetown I have seen since the October rebellion. There is one other aspect about having a protest of rotting, unmaintained infrastructure on a bridge-you wonder about the condition of the bridge you are standing on with all the extra weight!
Here’s the timeline for what was happening at Occupy Wall Street at the same time:
6:35 pm: From TheOther99, reports of NYPD intimidating the press, told Tim Pool he would have his press card revoked if he was arrested.
6:30 pm: City Hall is locked down, from @JoshHarkinson
6:15 pm: At least 10,000 (reports as high as 20,000) headed towards Brooklyn Bridge chanting “Whose Streets? Our Streets!”
5:30 pm: #OWS shuts down Canal St.
5:25 pm: NYPD cavalry begins to be appear on Centre Street.
5:16 pm: 90 Fifth Avenue occupied by students from Pratt, Columbia, NYU, Hunter pic.twitter.com/lBNwUwpJ
5:07 pm: more police sirens heard headed toward Foley
5:00 pm: chant: “Bloomberg beware, Zuccotti Park is everywhere!”
4:53 pm: marchers headed from west end of 14th have been cut off by police barricades
4:47 pm: 5th ave has been shut down
4:42 pm: music and chants can be heard emanating from Foley Square
4:40 pm: as other marches continue heading down Broadway and from Liberty Square, 7th and 6th st are reported to have been taken by protesters
4:26 pm: Foley reported full of protestors, NYU students still on their way; other feeder marches (including from Liberty Square) also en route