Occupy DC Protesters Use Toddlers To Block Exit from Reagan Tribute
(CNSNews.com) – Occupy DC protestors used two small children placed in a plastic wagon to help erect a barricade and block people from exiting the DC Convention Center on Friday as a conservative Americans for Prosperity event was winding down inside the complex. The protestors were forcibly removed by security officials.
In addition, some of those same protestors used the two small children in the wagon to help block a crosswalk and prevent cars from exiting a garage at the Convention Center. The pink and green wagon was only a few feet from the front of an exiting vehicle.
The first incident with the children in the wagon occurred around 9:30 p.m. at the doorway to the Convention Center at the top of the stairs at Mt. Vernon Square 7th Street, in downtown Washington, D.C. MRC TV Content Editor Stephen Gutowski was at the scene, on his way to meet some friends at a nearby hotel when he came across the protestors.
Gutowski told CNSNews.com that when he got to the top of the stairs he saw that the protestors were inside the Convention Center doorway and had placed two large wooden trash cans, a blue recycling bin, and the wagon with the two children directly inside the doorway to keep people from exiting or entering.
The children, who looked to be around 4 years old, were sitting down, facing each other in the wagon. One child had dark curly hair and was wearing a pink jacket. The other child, facing away from the camera, had light brown hair.
Security personnel, apparently for the Convention Center, then arrived and moved the protestors out of the doorway and onto the sidewalk. At that point, Gutowski used the video-recorder on his cell phone to tape the incident (see video).
Teri Washington, a spokeswoman for Events DC, reviewed the video and told CNSNews.com, “We can’t comment on how we deploy our public safety resources.”
Nonetheless, as people sought to close the doors from the inside, what appears to be D.C. police officers forcibly moved the protestors away from the door’s entrance outside. One protestor in a yellow coat was pushed back apparently by a policeman while the mother of the children in the wagon sought to move her kids. The mother was knocked over by the other protestor.
Another unidentified woman, with green-dyed hair, apparently was trying to cover one of the children with a coat.
The children’s mother – she said the children belonged to her -- wearing a red coat and gray cap, started to shout, “No justice, no peace! No Justice, no peace!” She then flipped her middle finger to the police and yelled, “F--- the police! F--- the police!”
In the chaos of the moment, Gutowski asked her, “Why are you using children like this?” and “Why are you using children to try to blockade a door?”
The woman said, “This is a protest and [unintelligible] ….”
Gutowski said again, “Why are you putting children in harm’s way?”
“They are my children,” said the woman, adding, “The police are the only ones that harmed them!”
Another woman, with dyed green hair and blue-jean jacket and who apparently had been covering one of the kids with a coat, went up to the camera and yelled that they were “taking part in a protest! We are the 99 percent and we have a right to speak up!”
The Defending the American Dream Summit, a project of the Americans for Prosperity (AFP) Foundation, was held at the DC Convention Center on Nov. 4-5.
Between 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. there was a “Tribute to Ronald Reagan” in the dinner ballroom with speakers Dinesh D’Souza, Judge Andrew Napolitano, and the AFP’s vice president for policy, Phil Kerpen. At 9:30 p.m., around the time of the scuffle at the 7th Street door, the group was screening the objectivist movie “Atlas Shrugged.”
In another video, some of the same protestors and the same children in the pink and green wagon are shown trying to block the crosswalk on M Street, NW where it meets 9th Street NW. Right there, coming out onto M street is one of the exits from a parking garage. As the video shows, the demonstrators and the kids in the wagon are directly in front of a black sedan that is trying to turn onto 9th Street.
The children in the wagon are only a few feet directly in front of the the grill of the sedan, in line with protestors who are blocking the crosswalk.
"We are the 99 percent! We are the 99 percent!" shouted the protestors.