The National Park Service moved in Tuesday morning to remove the last vestiges of the Occupy DC protest at McPherson Park. Park Service employees loaded debris into two trucks as several Park Police officers–including the familiar Sgt. Reid–stood watch at the foot of the statue of General McPherson. The last two nights the protest structures, including tents, signs and art, were demolished.
McPherson Park hadn’t served as a full-fledged Occupation since February 4, when Park Police raided it and removed the majority of tents. Subsequently, officers patrolled to enforce a no-sleeping policy.
The last month has seen the further detachment of Occupy DC from the park, as ithe number of tents shrank and the group acquired office space nearby, sponsored by union SEIU.
Some Occupiers no longer took pride in what remained of the often messy camp and wanted to clear it themselves. One of the witnesses to the Park Services’s clean-up operation, a homeless man named RB, said Occupy DC lacked control over who was hanging out in their protest space.
“When you start a revolution of sorts you don’t put out an application,” he said. “There could be hangers on the fringe who are not part of the movement.” He complained of heavy drug use.
Several of those affiliated with Occupy DC have contended that the McPherson camp was a tactic and that its termination doesn’t represent the health of the movement itself.