Posted 3 years ago on Dec. 4, 2011, 11:23 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Last night, Occupy K Street-DC erected a wooden structure, a "People's Pavilion," at their main encampment in McPherson Square. According to Occupiers, the structure will be used as a warm place (designed to be heated by a novel sustainable energy source: water bottles that collect and store solar heat) for General Assemblies, teach-ins, and other community building purposes.
They have also said that the structure represents the needs of the 99% who are being left houseless by economic inequality. The People' Pavilion is a symbol of all homes stolen by banks and corporate greed, right on K Street -- in front of the Wall Street lobbyists who buy the politicians on Capitol Hill. Or, as one Occupier said:
We built this to represent broader problems in society. Millions cannot afford housing and are literally dying. The government is not providing social services. It's time for the people to do it."
The wooden structure was specifically designed by architects to be safe and to comply with DC regulations, and meets the "temporary structure" standard. It is "prefabricated, modular and mobile structure - legally similar to the tents." It lacks a foundation and can be taken down in under an hour. As such, it does not violate city ordinances. According to @OccupyKSt,
This structure is our way of escalating without being destructive; you can "smash" the status quo without smashing anything. #occupydc
This morning, police arrived and ordered the structure to be removed. They gave OccupyDC one hour to disassemble it. The Occupiers began holding an emergency General Assembly to decide what to do. Some were prepared to take down the structure, while the majority seemed in favor of civil disobedience. The GA was unable to reach consensus before the police moved in to attack all those left inside. Many willing Occupiers stayed within the structure to defend it, while a crowd of hundreds has gathered at McPherson Square.
- 7:30pm: Final three people on the roof top of the A frame are refusing to cooperate. Police on the APC have some kind of projectile weapon, possibly rubber bullets or pepper spray (but not used). Chants: "The whole world is watching"
- 7:19pm: First roofers arrested using cherry picker and harnesses. 3 remain.
- 6:28pm: Police using the armored personnel carrier to go after the protesters on the roof. The protesters move to the highest tip on the structure. Crowd mic checks "we got your back" to the protesters and chant "we are the 99%, and so are you!" to the police.
- 6:28pm: Occupiers mic check the 1st amendment and ask police not to follow their orders. Chants: "This is What Community Looks Like!", "Stay Strong!" At least 26 people have been arrested today so far. Police allowed for a prolonged stand off and moved in to make most arrests after nightfall. The majority of the supporters present are being kept behind a police line,