Occupy DC: The Battle of the Barn

I’m spending time today on a longer story reporting what happened at Occupy DC over the weekend, but the gist is this:

The Occupy D.C. campaign, largely peaceful since its launch two months ago, turned confrontational Sunday when police detained 31 protesters during a tense day-long standoff in McPherson Square. It was the first case of mass arrests at the group’s base camp in Washington, and the clash resembled those between police and Occupy protesters in other cities across the country. The day began with a seemingly minor dispute over a 15-foot-tall wood shelter that protesters put up Saturday night in the park’s grassy southwest corner.

The arrests were largely peaceful – the ones I saw, having showed up Sunday afternoon, occured after police warned protesters that they would be arrested if they stayed in the shelter. But the arrestees were outnumbered roughly 8 to 1 by protesters gawking at what was happening, mic-checking messages of support.