1:45 p.m. Update: McPherson Square, the streets surrounding it and the exit to the nearby Metro station reopened Sunday afternoon after the weekend raid that shut down most public activity in the region.
National Park Service workers remained on the scene clearing debris from the square and trying to restore some order amid the muddy remains. Some officers on horse back continued to patrol the park, but the fleet of police cars, vans and tactical vehicles had departed for other areas.
The public — and Occupiers gradually returned to the space, with the Occupy Library open and many people out jogging and strolling or gawking, some from the confines of their cars, slowing traffic on K and other streets.
Original post: Washington awoke to a very different McPherson Square Sunday morning.
Where tents and posters once stood and general assemblies once met, police in riot gear, fork lifts and garbage trucks roamed. And the statue of Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson, once draped in what occupiers dubbed the “Tent of Dreams,” stood exposed once more. A few tents still stood vigil in the square.
It was the aftermath of a raid that began in the pre-dawn hours of Saturday and lasted well into the night as U.S. Park Police said they were enforcing a no-camping rule. Eight protesters were arrested, and crews cleared away loads of tents and bedding — and dead rodents.
Many of the streets surrounding the square had become parking lots for official vehicles. Vermont Avenue from H to I (Eye), I , from 15th to 16th, and 15th from I to K were still the domain of police vans, tactical assault vehicles, police motorcycles and cops on horseback.
The Vermont Avenue entrance to McPherson Square station was closed, although a few lucky Metro riders were allowed access between 7 and 8 a.m.
On the square itself, the clearing continued, with workers in coveralls removing items, bulldozers and fork lifts scooping up loads and garbage trucks carrying the items away.
Traffic on K Street had to be alert for temporary stoppages due to the clearing.
Graphics: How police cleared the square