Washington: Protesters clash with guards at museum

The protests have since spread to other US cities.

Updated: Oct 09, 2011, 20:21 PM IST

Washington: Protesters clashed with security
staff when they tried to enter a museum in Washington,
prompting one guard to use pepper spray and leading to at
least one arrest, a spokeswoman said.

The incident occurred yesterday at The Smithsonian`s
National Air and Space Museum around 3:15 pm (1915 GMT), after
hundreds of activists had marched from Freedom Plaza, near the
White House, along the National Mall towards the US Capitol.

Some of those in the demonstration were affiliated with
the Occupy DC protest group that sprung up earlier this week
as a spin-off of the larger Occupy Wall Street movement in New
York, angered at "corporate greed."

Smithsonian spokeswoman Linda St Thomas said a group of
the protesters were confronted when they tried to push through
the doors and enter the Air and Space Museum.

"When they were told they couldn`t bring the banners they
were carrying inside one security officer used pepper spray,"
she said.

"There were a couple of hundred protesters in the area at
the time and Washington police were called. There was one
arrest that I know of," she added, noting that the museum
closed its doors two hours early because of the clash.

Occupy DC, a young group of several dozen protesters, is
camping out at McPherson Square on Washington`s K Street,
where many political lobbyists have their offices.

On Friday its members greeted commuters with placards
denouncing corporate greed. Later they mingled in small groups
and swapped experiences with Occupy Wall Street participants
who have come down to the nation`s capital.

Protesters in New York, angered by government bailouts of
banks based on Wall Street, began to gather on September 17,
leading to continuous, increasingly high-profile
demonstrations.

The protests have since spread to other US cities.

PTI