Occupy DC has been holding its encampment for over a month now, and has been particularly hospitable to visiting occupiers, including this correspondant.
They do things a little differently here in the nation's capital, but no so differently that they are unrecognizable or foreign. The spirit of resistance is the same.
Today, Occupy DC took part in an action against the billionaire Koch brothers, who, in addition to being part of the 1%, have been particularly vociferous about advancing the ultraconservative agenda. Today, that agenda included a banquet--a tribute to Ronald Reagan--called "Defending the American Dream." It featured such darlings of the American right (and one-percenters) as Rudy Giuliani, Herman Cain, and Mitt Romney. Obviously, Occupy DC had to intervene.
We began with a march from McPherson square, one of two sites currently occupied in the district, and proceeded to the convention center, where a new documentary film about the nefarious siblings was projected onto the convention center's wall.
We then retreated to give distance between the Common Cause action and our own, before returning to occupy one of the center's main intersections. Our idea was to detain the class war criminals at the luxurious banquet.
Soon, however, we realized that there were enough of us to occupy several more locations! We expanded to two, then three, then six neighboring intersections.
We chanted, sang songs, and otherwise entertained ourselves as we held our positions.
But at about 9:30, the 1% became restless and began exiting. Becoming frustrated with our blockade, some of the more militant among them came out to taunt, intimidate, and attempt to provoke us.
We were much wiser than they, however, and refused to succumb to such sophomoric gestures. So their militancy increased. One of the attendees, the driver of a silver Lexus, deliberately knocked down one of our comrades. I was deeply engaged in reading a radical book on loan from the Occupy DC library and so did not see the collision. Nonetheless, I heard a loud thud, a collective gasp, and looked up in time to see the automobile race away at a breakneck pace. I turned to see the compañera, immobilized on the pavement. We called ambulances to aid her, and several occupiers chased down the vehicle and detained it. Approximately three individuals were arrested for this heroic act of self-sacrifice.
Shortly thereafter, the vast majority of the one percent having left under police protection, we returned to our camp, but not before passing by the White House, which we justly declared "Our House."
We ate dinner and commiserated, eager to regroup for further action in the days to come.