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Occupy DC Arrests

The Occupy DC movement, which had been mostly peaceful thus far, turned ugly yesterday as police arrested 31 protesters during an all-day standoff in McPherson Square. It was the first instance of mass arrests at the group’s base camp in Washington D.C.

It all started with a seemingly innocuous disagreement over a 15-foot-tall wooden shelter that demonstrators erected on Saturday night in the park’s southwest corner. Soon, though, it escalated into a noisy downtown fracas after a group of protesters failed to heed orders from the U.S. Park Police to take down the half-built structure.

During the daylight hours, police arrested 15 demonstrators and charged them with crossing a police line. After the sun had set, officers detained the protesters who had stayed inside the open shed all day, and 16 people were charged with disobeying a lawful police order. One of them also was charged with resisting arrest, indecent exposure, and urinating in public.

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Six people tried to hang onto the roof of the shed, but police were able to remove all of them by 8:35 p.m. EST and later took down shelter.

There were no reports of injuries.

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