*Above is a live stream from Freedom Plaza by occupiedair (or Nathan Grant – in case he gets arrested today). Check back for updates as Firedoglake follows what happens to the occupation in Freedom Plaza.
[UPDATE – 5:58 PM] Not certain of the police presence around Freedom Plaza but seems like a lot of the tents passed inspection. The world didn’t see a scene unfold like what happened yesterday in McPherson Square. Part of that may have to do with the group. The Freedom Plaza occupation was “Stop the Machine” and had taken out a permit for the months it was in the Plaza last year. It also had a permit to be in the plaza now and that is why when they were asked to turn off music they were able to stop the police from telling them whether they could play music or not.
Now, there are reports on police in McPherson and reports on protesters so it must be noted that the occupation isn’t really over. The GA will regroup and a presence is likely to continue with occupiers keeping a presence.
[UPDATE – 3:48 PM] The scene in the past hour from Shane Worth.
[UPDATE – 2:17 PM] First arrest at Freedom Plaza
Kat Driessen of Washington Post says he was taken into custody for making “felony threats.” Ok…
Also, seeing reports that the live streamer for the stream above, Nathan Grant, is going to be able to keep his tent. It is in “compliance.”
That doesn’t mean tents aren’t being seized like yesterday. As the police barricade areas of the plaza and move through, multiple tents are coming down.
[UPDATE – 1:38 PM] While waiting for this to develop further, read Jefferson Morley’s post at Salon about the “battle for McPherson Square.”
Laura Potter, a retired Army nurse on disability, watched in disbelief as her green tent was trampled.
“They’re only here to protect the people in government,” she said of the police, leaning on her metal crutch. “They’re not listening to the people. They’re listening to Darrell Issa. They’re using their sticks on people when they should be using their badges to protect them.”
[UPDATE – 1:25 PM] It does all seem like a big con. And it feels like a rerun of a TV episode that gets up under your skin.
Police did begin by putting on their best face (they did that yesterday). They began to “inspect” but then complained too many were following them around. This meant the police had to stop and they could try again but would likely begin a more “formal” inspection.
Barricades are up. Those in the Plaza are waiting for many personnel to show up to go around and determine what tents are in “compliance.”
(Note: Yesterday, 170 tents were found to not be in “compliance.” Why? It rained. Any holding water were to be deemed “biohazards.”)
[UPDATE – 12:25 PM] Captain Jacobsen of Park Police expects there will be very “few problems.” He says, “Camping regulations we’ll work with you on.”
The Park Police will be working with occupiers to violate their Fourth Amendment rights. Officers are going to begin to pat down journalists and protesters who come into the Plaza.
Captain Jacobsen was just confronted by press. They wonder why McPherson wasn’t given a chance for “informal walkabout.” The police just swept in and started moving them around forcefully. Instead, here at Freedom Plaza is *not* at this point compartmentalizing the inspection/raid like they did yesterday.
[UPDATE – 11:37 AM] The Park Service is handing out bright green-colored eviction notices. They are setting up a security perimeter for its operations. The Park Police are establishing a security perimeter. They are going to have a continued police presence, just like at McPherson Square.
“This is your last chance to come into compliance,” the notice reads. “Some of you have done it but others have not.” So, that is a clear indicator that we could see a repeat of yesterday, especially if people who were at McPherson yesterday show up to express solidarity.
There are plainclothes officers on the scene who refuse to inform occupiers what agency they are working for.
National Park Service police are gathering around Freedom Plaza in DC to bring the occupation into compliance with a “no camping” rule. The Park Service denies that an eviction is going to happen. They claim all that will happen is an “inspection.”
The world watched yesterday as the Park Service conducted an “inspection” in McPherson Square, where Occupy DC was located. They first announced they would not be evicting. Then they moved through the camp. But streets surrounding Soon, Hazmat suit-wearing men appeared and were rifling through the property of occupiers inside tents, which were understood to be there symbolically but somehow were all “biohazards.”
The Park Service systematically dismantled all sections of the Occupy DC vigil that had been ongoing. They moved from corner to corner, relocating occupiers that were congregating.
So, here’s a video showing how the Park Service does “inspections” and what they might mean when they say they are coming to “inspect” the vigil today. (Of course, remember, as the National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis said in a congressional hearing, they take a “measured” and “reasoned approach” to handling protests.):