When groups of protesters took to the streets of D.C. and other major cities on Oct. 1, it wasn’t long before their demonstrations and marches evolved into encampments.
The protestors became Occupiers, and tents went up in Freedom Plaza and McPherson Square.
Eight months later, the official Occupy D.C. camp in McPherson Square is shutting down. A police raid in January had cleared out much of the camp; in June, organizers themselves removed the last of the tents.
Take a look back at the Post coverage of the movement, with photos from a police crackdown, to a Post reporter’s night in McPherson Square.
Occupy DC protesters set up camp in McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza the first week of October. Protesters were not given a permit to set up camps in either park, but were allowed to stay, Teresa Tomassoni and Annie Gowen reported.
“No one has any plans to ask for a permit — or to leave,” said Legba Carrefour, a self-described anarchist. ‘We haven’t had any problems with police.’”
Several D.C. council members also announced their support for the protests on Oct. 11, saying they had no problem allowing protesters to stay on the National Park Service property.
A night with Occupy D.C.
Reporter Katie Rogers spent a night with Occupy D.C. in McPherson Square on October 19. Rogers spoke with various protesters, including Rockville resident Elie Milne who volunteered for a night shift in a medical tent.
Post Art and Architecture critic Philip Kennicott looked at Occupy D.C. encampments as do-it-yourself urbanism. “Although Occupy D.C. eschews formal leadership and has been criticized for its amorphous organization and goals, it has proved remarkably adept at symbolism, especially urban symbolism.”
Tensions began to rise between Occupy D.C. and police. Thirty-one protesters were arrested in McPherson Square on Dec. 4, following a dispute over a 15-foot-tall wood shelter in the park’s southwest corner.
Occupy romance? Over the course of three months since the tents were pitched in McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza, some protesters found love.
On Jan. 27, Occupy D.C. protesters were given a deadline to vacate McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza by U.S. Park Police. The tents and protesters remained past the deadline, holding signs and a erecting a large blue “Tent of Dreams.” The actions would lead to a police sweep and clean up of the park in February.
Police swept through Occupy D.C. in McPherson Square on Feb. 4 and Freedom Park the next day. U.S. Park Police donned hazmat suits to clear out tents and other trash in both parks.
Although not allowed to sleep in the parks, Occupy D.C. was able to keep “symbolic vigil tents” in both parks. On Feb. 26, protesters descended on the government relations offices of Freddie Mac.
With numbers dwindling and an uncertain future, the McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza camps merged on April 6. The Freedom Plaza protest permit with the National Park Service was set to expire April 29.
Park Service employees also began to refurbish both parks, by adding flowers and reseeding $8,000 worth of sod destroyed during the protests.
May Day gatherers around the world brought out Occupy D.C. protesters, with marches and demonstrations around the city.
Members of Occupy D.C. announced their final depature from McPherson Square to a new office space nearby. Reporter Annie Gowen spoke with protester Rooj Alwazir, who said “It’s sad, but it’s a good move for us, so we can move on to other projects out in the community.”