Live Updates on Occupy Congress
1206: Arrests began as early as 10am during the Occupy Congress event which began with a large crowd forming directly in front of the Capital building.
1306: Civil disobedience has begun at Occupy Congress with actions by Captain Ray Lewis, a retired Philly police officer. Several dozen occupiers have followed him onto the non-permit side of the lawn. The Capital building is being protected by Capital Police. Occupiers have began darting past police officers. According to livestreamer @Korgasm_ he was frisked and then released.
1307: Captain Ray Lewis is currently promoting the film Inside Job on a livestream by occupiers Korgasm_ @ http://www.ustream.tv/channel/korgasm
1310: OccupyDC announces they are helping to provide legal support. NLG legal number 202-573-7478
1312: The original GA seems to have been disrupted due to Occupiers that were crossing over into the nonpermit area. DC police brought in a small group of officers for reinforcement. The GA now seems to be more oriented towards providing legal information now as it is becoming more obvious further arrests will probably be made throughout the day. At one point, @Korgasm_ considered crossing the line to broadcast from the non-permit side but at the site of additional officers and at the behest of several people watching her livestream decided to protect the integrity of her broadcast and not get arrested so early in the day.
1316 OccupyDC making announcements right now about the discussions that are going to take place. According to OccupyDC, breakout groups were created to facilitate discussion due to the large amount of occupiers in one place. the Here is an agenda list being passed around:
1322: The group of individuals being used to help facilitate the GA are called “Dragons.” Two great streams both with great quality. Check out http://www.ustream.tv/channel/316210 aka @Punkboyinsf who is a “36yo #anonymous autonomous gay male [from] San Francisco.” also check out @Korgasm_ (who is hilarious) at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/korgasm.
13:29 In respect to disobedience, there appears to be several individuals occupying trees at the moment. No movement by DC Police.
13:41 After several individuals climbed into trees, DC police moved in to remove them. However, it does appear another guy is in a tree and they aren’t moving in. Things have calmed down a little, but at one point it was getting very rambunctious. Not sure if there was an arrest. Occupiers chanting: “We have free speech. Fuck the police.”
13:45 According to occupiers, there have been 4 arrests thus far. The interaction with police earlier occurred because someone may have tried to sit or stand on the wall separating occupy from the police. A police officer tried to pull the protester over the wall, presumably to arrest them. The occupiers were pulled back over the wall by fellow protesters and no arrests were made during the incident.
13:56 Occupier twitter magnet @OakFoSho is currently interviewing a police officer. He wants a statement about what’s going. Occupiers are on both sides of a sidewalk, but they aren’t able to cross. It is causing confusion because Occupiers aren’t sure whether or not they’ll get arrested for trying to cross. According to DC Police, the sidewalk is being commandeered by police so they can use it to respond to any situation that develops. Police say their tactics will be amorphous.
14:11 Occupiers are testing the waters with the DC Police right now. A group of Occupiers are sitting on the wall and police approached them to ask them to stay on the other side of the wall. Several individuals refused to move. One guy only had leg over the wall and the police asked him to move it. He did briefly, but then put it back. When the cops returned, @punkboyinsf told the officers, “Do you know what happens to police that harass occupiers… their personal information gets put out on the internet. Do you want to put your family through that?” The police immediately backed away.
14:14 A small group of Occupiers are burning a copy of the constitution. The individual burning it says he is doing to represent what the government is doing to our rights. The police observed, but did not interact.
14:17 During an interview with @OakFoSho, Captain Ray Lewis admits to crying during Obama’s inauguration. But now, “He’s followed George Bush’s policies.” When asked if he had any positive responses to officers, he says no. “I secluded myself. I don’t watch TV or read newspapers. It’s all brainwash. Propaganda.” He claims he discovered the movement through investigative reporting. An occupier says he was charged with felony conspiracy while Mic Checking the Mayor of San Diego. Ray Lewis suggests petitioning the Mayor and suggests occupying him. Unrelated… Ray Lewis also professed his desire to be vegan.
14:22 The sun is shining in DC now. A great contrast to the rain this morning. GA is about to start back up.
14:30 Occupiers are standing on a wall, about 20 of them. They are doing the hokey-pokey in front of the police.
14:54 Over at the GA, Occupy New Orleans is looking for articles by Jan 20th. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
14:57 According to the flier below, there is a group planning an extensive occupation of DC beginning on March 30th. Visit nowdc.org for more information.
15:25 According to a group occupiers approaching the capital, the Wikileaks truck is being harassed by police.
15:34 J’tao (@punkboyinsf) is now outside of the House of Representatives office building. According to a MIC check, they are not permitted to keep people out of it. They are trying to expidite the process of entering the building by having occupiers go ahead and remove all the metal from their persons. Cameras may or may not be allowed in the building. According to a ustream commenter, Timcast was pulled offline in order to enter.
15:49 @Punkboyinsf is actually entering Nanci Pelosi’s office right now. He’s going dark and only going to stream with her permission. His livestream address is here: http://www.ustream.tv/occupysf
16:08 @OakFoSho is now inside of Barbara Lee’s office. @Punkboyinsf was unable to meet with Pelosi. Oak has written Barbara Lee a letter on the spot asking for her to support Occupy Oakland, visit them and speak out against the arrests. @OakFoSho commented that he would probably ask for an appointment with the congresswoman tomorrow. Punkboy’s note asked Pelosi to stop SOPA, PIPA and to support Occupy San Francisco. (UPDATE CORRECTION: They are at the Cannon office building. Not Rayburn.)
16:22 Rumor has it now that people are being surrounded on the west lawn by police. No livestreams up that I can find right now. @Punkboyinsf is changing batteries and on his way there to investigate. @Punkboyinsf is interviewing @JessieLaGreca
16:51 Occupy Dallas is now interviewing some original occupiers from #OWS. http://www.ustream.tv/channel/occupy-dallas
16:54 @OccupyFREEDOMLA got an interview with Congressman Waxman. Her livestream froze momentarily, but I will try to get information about that meeting from her by the end of the day.
16:58 Occupy Congress is now marching down Independence. They have taken the center of the street. Occupy DC is reportedly handing out pink slips to staffers in the Rayburn House building. @Punkboyinsf is marching with Sgt. Shamar Thomas.. famous for inimidating 30 NYPD officers. March is chanting: “Whose got the power? We’ve got the power!”
17:10 The march has stopped briefly. A group of drummers and a saxophone are playing in the middle of Independence Ave. Occupiers are dancing and singing.
17:19 Occupiers continuing to march down the street. There is another March being organized in 45 minutes. They are on the way to the Capital building at the moment. Occupiers are chanting “We say No Way, NDAA” As far as I know at this point, there have been less that 10 arrests during this event and no violence whatsoever.
17:21 Occupiers are now approaching the Capital building and being surrounded by police, but not in an aggressive fashion. They seem to be particularly interested in keeping the Occupiers from getting too close to the Capital building. “The people United will never be Defeated.” is being chanted down the street. Dozens of Police on bikes are following the march. @Punkboyinsf has absolutely no love for the corporate owned media. Whenever he sees them he tells them to take a hike and go “fuck someone else over.”
17:26 The climax of today will of course be at 8 when the permit for Occupy Congress expires. The arrest numbers are expected to climb dramatically as many occupiers have no intention of paying any attention to time restraints placed on them by a permit.
17:30 Sgt. Shamar Thomas speaks at a drum/dance circle. He says the veterans of this country appreciate the Occupy movement. “We are the 99. We are unstoppable. Peace.” Occupiers continue to dance and sing, “Get up. Get down. There’s revolution in this town.” They are planning to mobilize again for another march momentarily. A group of four occupiers have climbed on top of a stone structure that houses a large light to speak to the crowd. “We made our stand. Now keep moving.”
17:32 Police sirens are heard nearby. An occupier asks if they would like to attend a victory dance or keep marching. Occupiers begin chanting, “March. March. March.” No official count on how many people are currently at Occupy Congress. An occupier announces: “As occupiers. We need to be louder and louder and louder until they hear our voice. What are we going to do? We’re going to change everything in this world until it is right. Down with corporate greed.”
17:34 Occupier from Raleigh announces: “We need justice, understand and independence.” Anarchist Alliance announces with Mic Check: “We stand as an anarchist presence in solidarity with those that oppose the capital and state in equal measure. We support autonomous actions. As long as they do not recklessly or deliberately harm the communities. There is no state like no state.”
17:43 By the way, you can follow me on twitter at @DBCOOPA. I won’t be updating this blog until after 9pm eastern. I have a meeting to go with Occupiers from Dallas. I wish everyone there the best of luck. Solidarity and struggle.