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.