Occupy protests: US police arrest 62 people
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Last Updated: Thursday, December 08, 2011, 13:41
Washington: Police arrested 62 protesters as supporters of Occupy Wall Street targeted lobbyists who promote the interests of corporate America in Washington's corridors of power.

Undeterred by steady rain, more than 1,000 marchers -- many of them labor-union activists -- shut down several blocks of K Street, epicenter of the US capital's influential and lucrative lobbying industry, around midday on Wednesday.

Police, including a trio on horseback, intervened when several dozen protesters sat or lay down on the wet pavement at 14th and K streets and refused to budge when threatened with arrest for obstructing a public highway.

"This really speaks well of America," one of the rain-soaked protesters, Kelly Caldwell of Portland, Oregon, yelled sarcastically as police officers in long yellow coats put him in handcuffs and dragged him into a waiting van.

Sixty-two people were arrested, a spokesman for Washington's Metropolitan Police told news agency. Details of the charges they faced were not immediately available.

Wednesday's shutdown of K Street came a day after demonstrators backed by labor unions and civic groups occupied Congressional and Senate offices on Capitol Hill as part of a three-day Take Back the Capitol action.

Washington is home to two separate open-ended protest encampments, both near the White House, inspired by Occupy Wall Street and condemning social inequality and corporate influence on US politics.

Joining them this week has been a self-styled People's Camp on the National Mall, made up of about 15 tents -- in clear view of the Capitol -- erected by protesters from different corners of the United States.

Prominent in the Take Back the Capitol protest is the Service Employees Union International (SEIU), which represents health and public sector employees and is endorsing President Barack Obama for another term in office.

In San Francisco, 70 people were arrested early yesterday when police cleared the city's Occupy Wall Street offshoot, after giving its occupants five minutes' notice to clear out.


First Published: Thursday, December 08, 2011, 13:41

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