OccupyDC is pedestrian on Key Bridge

Photo by Chuck Thies
Occupier named Drew
Occupier named Drew

By 5:30 pm on Thursday, OccupyDC had been on the Key Bridge for nearly two hours when I came across a journalist I know.

"There's really nothing here to report," he said. "Nothing is happening. There’s no story."

One hundred seventy-five protesters lined the inbound sidewalk of the bridge. Another twenty-five had reached Virginia and gathered on the roadside a few yards from where Arlington County police attired in riot gear awaited them.

Police await Occupiers (Photo by: Chuck Thies) Police await Occupiers

Back in D.C. at Francis Scott Key Park there were more cops than protesters. At least two police boats bobbed in the chilly Potomac. The occasional helicopter buzzed overhead.

Occupiers arrive in Georgetown (Photo by: Chuck Thies) Occupiers arrive in Georgetown

I counted more than fifty police vehicles in the District and perhaps as many as one hundred cops.  In Virginia, no fewer than seventy-five law enforcement personnel stood ready. When I arrived in the Commonwealth a literal column of police were lined up in front of a "Welcome to Virginia" sign. Several carried tear gas launchers and what appeared to be rifles designed to fire rubber bullets.

A column of police await protesters in Virginia (Photo by: Chuck Thies) A column of police await protesters in Virginia

The somewhat-newsworthy item of the day was the level of coordination between District police and the Occupiers who led a march from McPherson Square to Georgetown. As police announced commands over a bullhorn, a couple dozen volunteer marshals donning orange ski caps guided the marchers into position.

On the bridge, police were stationed in small groups at fifty-yard intervals. The orange cap marshals were similarly deployed but closer together and in pairs or alone.

Economic emergency (Photo by: Chuck Thies) Economic emergency

Concerns that the Occupiers would block rush hour traffic were for naught.

Much ado about nothing, unless you are practicing for a half-time show at the Superbowl.

In my opinion, the so-called 99% as they were represented in D.C. today are timid.

Not one person with whom I spoke was able to tell me what the Occupiers accomplished or even set out to prove.

Perhaps the problem is that the Occupiers don’t have a leader and, as such, appear at times to be an aimless crowd. 

Frustrated? Yes. Upset? Yes. Effective? To date, no.

0 Comments For This Article

Bill

Chuck,
Maybe you think it's no big deal but these "frustrated upset' people are really frustrating and upsetting me. I spent 1 hour longer than usual trying to go 4 blocks to get over the bridge and was more than an hour late for an important meeting which put me at a severe disadvantage.
I am so over these self promoting of nothing jerks looking for someone else to solve their problems---give me a break.

Anonymous

Traffic was far less than usual. Good job! I think we can all support the right of protest, and if the protesters wish to obstruct the rights of others to work or commute, then they should be jailed. Peaceably, of course.