U.S. Park Police descended upon the Occupy DC Encampment at McPherson Square Sunday Morning after Occupy D.C. Protestors erected what the police labeled, “a non-permitted structure,” in the park around the corner from the White House, which lead to a day long stand off between the police and protestors.
The protestors claimed that the structure, which was to be dubbed, “the greenhouse,” when completed was built to shelter more than 100 protestors from the elements over the coming winter months. The Protesters also claimed that structure in question had been erected overnight and could be broken down and removed within a 2 hour time frame when and if it had been completed.
U.S. Park Police dubbed the unfinished structure as a non permitted building erected in the park and demanded that protestors remove it from the public use park. This demand lead to a day long stand off between police and some elements within the Occupy D.C. Protest as more than a half dozen protesters were arrested after they climbed upon the unfinished structure to delay U.S. Park Police from removing it from McPherson Square. One protester even erected an American Flag on top of the structure as Police moved in.
As night fell upon Washington D.C., U.S. Park Police, some in riot gear and others on horseback backed up by DC Police and Fire, quarden off the park just 2 blocks shy of the White House and moved in to remove the half off dozen or more defiant protesters on top of the structure. Police set up a air mattress next to the unfinished structure for those protesters on top who choose to jump off as U.S. Park Police moved in with a cherry picker to remove, while the more defiant of the protestors remained on the structure cause police to move in and arrest them.
By 8:30 local time the U.S. Park Police had removed the last of the protesters and set up a perimeter around the structure to keep other protesters back as a group of workers moved in to demolish and remove the structure shortly after 9 pm local time much to dismay of the remaining protesters.
Two of the protesters, who I spoke to, one calling himself Brad and the other C-Money both stated that the protesters believed they had the right to erect the structure, but the structure itself had been red tagged by officials well before it was demolished. According to C-Money, who claimed to be part of the governing Council within the Occupy D.C. encampment, the council had voted and approved the removal of the structure after the U.S. Park Police gave them a 12 noon deadline to do so, but according to him a small minority protestors in the encampment choose to climb up the structure to prevent its removal. Brad claimed that most within the encampment were shocked to see the structure start to go up at 2 am Sunday Morning and rightful believed that this was the reason the U.S. Park Police descended upon the park in mass.
Many other protesters including Brad chose to abandon the park and stand behind police lines as the last of the hardcore protestors were removed along with the structure around 10:30 P.M. local time, U.S. Park Police allowed onlookers and protestors alike back into the park as the last of the unfinished structure was truck away.