Occupy D.C. Camp Dismantled Quietly By Park Police
Update 2/5/12: The tally of arrests from yesterday's ban enforcement is at least seven, according to the AP. Things did take a turn for the worse later Saturday when a police officer was hit with a brick in the face.
As The Associated Press reports, the incident was acknowledged by protesters at a general assembly Saturday night. They vowed to go on with their movement, but urged everyone to practice non-violence.
Since the early a.m., U.S. Park Police have been moving into a park near the White House where the Occupy D.C. movement has been encamped for months. Some officers were on horseback and dressed in riot gear, but there haven't been any major clashes.
If there are, you'll likely see it on this Washington Post live video stream.
At least seven people have been arrested. Mainly, the officers have been breaking down the tents and other structures that have marked D.C.'s McPherson Square since last fall.
The police aren't calling it an eviction; they say they are enforcing a camping ban. As The Associated Press reports, they're making sure "protesters are complying with National Park Service regulations that allow demonstrations at the site but prohibit camping."
Officials say protesters can be in the park at all hours — but they can't sleep there. The National Park Service forbids camping on federal land except on designated campgrounds.
As we reported earlier this week, the Occupy D.C. encampment had received notification that the camping ban would be enforced, but the Monday deadline came and went without incident. The protesters erected an even bigger tent in the center of the square.
Tweets from the scene relate a sense of sobriety. "Seeing my home dismantled is hard," @Sara_Jeans tweeted. The Washington Post's Annie Gowan reports dead mice and rats being uncovered as police in yellow hazmat suits take down the camp.
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