On Friday the 13th of April, Occupy DC marched out from their campsite at Bank of America at Vermont and L to Wells Fargo, the headquarters of Bank of America, The US Treasury, and back to Bank of America. For the 4th day in a row cops then arrested protesters for sitting outsie BofA WITHOUT blocking the sidewalk.
This time around, five people were arrested for “incommoding” which under DC code requires that the sidewalk be completely obstructed. A number of cops have admitted to Occupy DC that these are unlawful arrests. DC’s potential civil liability for the arrests continues to grow,
Video evidence shows that the only “incommoding” done in front of Bank of America’s Vermont and L street office was done by the cops. They lined up in first a L formation, then a semicircle around people sitting exactly where they had slept earlier.
The entire morning rush-hour march, sometimes against traffic, took place and returned to Bank of America prior to 10AM, when the unlawful arrests have been taking place. Police warnings not to take all of the street at one point caused marchers to take the middle lane (3 to a side) after cops tried to order everyone into the right lane.
Before the march even started, a bank security guard, possibly the one who has been calling the cops to “remove those protesters,” attempted without sucess to stop a videographer from videotaping her. Her order were defied and the photographer went around the block when Sgt Scott, the cop who has commanded the unlawful arrests, tried to approach in a menacing manner. Sgt Scott soon soon abandond his unlawful intimidation of the press.
The US Park Police, of coruse, are the reason Occupy DC has found it necessary to sleep in front of the bank without tents. Perhaps Bank of America needs to have a little chat with the Department of the Interior about this, as unlawful arrests are NOT removing Occupy’s campsite!