Hundreds of Occupy D.C. protesters descended on the city’s convention center Friday night, blocking the streets around where a conservative group was gathered for an annual summit.
Demonstrators staged a “sit in” around the convention center for several hours and barred individuals inside from leaving the area, the Washington Post reported.
Three protesters were struck by a car, authorities told the Post. They were transported to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
“The protesters were apparently trying to block the roadway,” D.C. police Lt. Christopher Micciche told the Associated Press. “It was essentially an accident where three individuals were injured but they were in violation by being in the roadway.”
Micciche said the car’s driver was not cited because he had a green light when his vehicle struck the protesters, who “either ran toward or jumped in front of the moving vehicle.” He said one pedestrian jumped on the hood of the car. One of them was cited for being in the roadway.
Protesters surrounded the driver’s car and shouted “Shame!” before he left, D.C.’s local Fox affiliate reported.
Occupy D.C. posted on its Twitter account that several protesters were arrested, though police told media outlets there had been no arrests.
Videos posted to YouTube and Twitter show large crowds massed in front of the convention center, chanting and shouting where the Americans for Prosperity “Defending the American Dream” summit was taking place. Americans for Prosperity is funded in part by Charles and David Koch, the brothers who run Koch Industries — apparently part of the reason protesters targeted the event.
Several protesters told the Post their main goal was to prevent conservatives from leaving the site.
According to one video posted on YouTube, a woman in a wheelchair was blocked from exiting the convention center by a group of protesters crowding outside one of the doors. They pressed signs reading “Government for the people” and “I am a human being” against the glass and chanted “This is what democracy looks like!”
Another video posted by the Media Research Council showed a group of protesters fighting with convention center security guards and placing two children in the center of the scuffle. There is a lot of yelling and the children can be heard crying. Content warning — strong language.
At the start of the scuffle the protesters had been able to get inside the convention center and set up a makeshift barrier. This barrier consisted of what appeared to be several large wood trash cans from the center, a large metal recycling bin from the center, the two small children sitting in their wagon, and several occupiers either sitting on the floor or standing up.
The security guards, which may have been assisted by police officers (I’m not sure), then began moving the trash cans and forcing back the protesters. At first only about 5 or 6 protesters resisted the security guards while the rest filmed everything but as they forcibly pushed the protesters and the children’s wagon out of the doorway other protesters became incensed. At that point several other occupiers began screaming and pushing back against the security guards.
The children were extremely upset and crying by this point.