D.C. Protesters: 'Freedom Plaza Is Now Ours, And We're Never Giving It Back'

October 11, 2011 - 6:46 AM

Occupy DC

Occupy DC demonstrators in Freedom Plaza celebrate after electing to accept a U.S. Park Service Police deal to extend their permit to occupy the park for another four months, in Washington, Monday, Oct. 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

(CNSNews.com) - When protesters refused to leave Freedom Plaza in downtown Washington on Monday after their permit expired, the U.S. Park Police extended that permit for another four months.

"Freedom Plaza is now ours, and we're never giving it back," said a protest organizer at the October2011 website: "We have not said that when the four months are over and the American Spring is here we will leave."

It's not clear why the U.S. Park Police, which falls under President Obama's Interior Department, offered to extend the permit so anti-corporate, anti-war protesters could occupy Freedom Plaza through mid-February.

According to its mission statement, the U.S. Park Police exists to “support and further the mission and goals of the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service by providing quality law enforcement to safeguard lives, protect our national treasures and symbols of democracy, and preserve the natural and cultural resources entrusted to us."

 

As CNSNews.com reported, the protest site at Freedom Plaza -- a cultural resource entrusted to the Park Police -- is littered with trash and protest paraphernalia.

Occupy DC

Kevin Zeese, executive director and co-founder of VotersForPeace, annouces to Occupy DC demonstrators in Freedom Plaza that the U.S. Park Service Police is offering to extend their permit to occupy the park for another four months, in Washington, Monday, Oct. 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

And if protest organizers have their way, the crowd in Freedom Plaza will grow in the days ahead:

“We intend to make it possible for anyone to visit D.C. with free accommodations," says October2011l.org. "Just bring a sleeping bag and agree to work with us to pressure Congress, the White House, K Street, the Pentagon, and all the lobbyists and profiteers for peace and justice.  We have free food, we have free drink, we have free trainings and seminars, we have tents, we have peace keepers, we have a big victory under out belts, and we welcome all peace makers for they shall inherit Freedom Plaza. We own it. It is ours. It shall remain ours world without end."

On Tuesday morning, protesters will "set off to 'welcome' Congress back to town." They reportedly plan to shut down either a House or Senate office building.

On Monday, they boasted of disrupting the work of the National Security Agency and an Army Association convention, where "our women had generals crawling under tanks to avoid cameras."

"We shut down a celebration of Christopher Columbus as well," protest organizers said.

The October2011 website is putting out a call for contributions: "Or you can wait for the bankster war machine to confiscate your money, eat your retirement, swallow your healthcare, foreclose on your home, and tax you into debt to pay for plutocrats' profiteering."

Unlike the welcome mat rolled out for protesters in Washington, police in Boston began arresting some demonstrators early Tuesday morning.

The Associated Press reported at least 50 arrests overnight after Occupy Boston protesters refused to move from a site near their official encampment.

Police spokesman Jamie Kenneally told the AP the arrests began about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday and were mostly for trespassing.