By David Hoskins
October 11, 2011
Washington, DC – Protesters converged on Washington, D.C. the weekend of Oct. 8-9. Events organized by October 2011/Stop the Machine and Occupy D.C. were held at Freedom Plaza and McPherson Square. Thousands marched and rallied over the weekend to demand good jobs for all, an end to war and occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq and increased taxes on the rich.
A large rally on Saturday was held in Freedom Plaza. Featured speakers included former Green Party and independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader and Tracy Molm from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression (CSFR). Molm called on participants to stand with activists like her who are being targeted for exercising their right to speak out and organize against war and injustice.
As Molm spoke, teams of CSFR organizers signed people up to pledge resistance to the FBI and Grand Jury campaign targeting the 23 anti-war and international solidarity activists whose homes were raided in September 2010 and who have been subpoenaed as part of the campaign to criminalize dissent.
Demonstrators then marched from Freedom Plaza to the National Air and Space Museum where military drones used during the war in Afghanistan were on display. The crowd chanted, “How do we cut the deficit? End the wars and tax the rich!” and “The banks got bailed out, the people got sold out!” The demonstration successfully shut down the museum despite the use of force by guards who pepper sprayed peaceful protesters attempting to enter the museum. A separate rally was held later in the day in front of the White House.
The occupations of Freedom Plaza and McPherson Square have continued past the weekend. For now the protests show no sign of letting up and many demonstrators have indicated their intention to stay until their demands are met.