The United States Park Police did on Saturday morning what they had been threatening to do for a week, and cleared out the tents and violating equipment from McPherson Square Park. The four-month occupation of the park by a group of protestors discussing varied issues from income inequality to college loan debt to the war in Afghanistan. Eight were arrested, and one officer was hurt when he was hit in the head by a brick, but otherwise the action was without violence. For a more personal view of the action, I highly encourage you to read Dave Stroup’s take on Saturday’s actions, which speak to the ephemeral community of Occupy K Street.
The photos from the morning after are a sad coda to the state of the park, which had just undergone a refurbishment by the Park Service, with new sod and landscaping both destroyed by the four-month long protest. You can’t do the math on an event like this, though, and expect to get a proper sum. In the end, their issues are on the lips of many District residents, both to discuss, and to mock.
I was very glad to see this pass without significant violence, and without a high arrest total. The Tent of Dreams, pictured above, might have been Occupy DC’s finest hour, but it could only last so long.