Around 11:30 am on October 11, 2011, I, and just about every other intern and staffer in my building, emerged from our offices, roused by the sounds of… an occupation. Over 100 members of Stop the Machine, Occupy D.C. and Code Pink took advantage of the Hart Senate Building’s 90-foot tall, echoing atrium chanting “we are the 99%” and “tax the rich, end the war. ” The protestors spread out from the top floor to the bottom, waving banners, blocking bathrooms and conveniently pressing all the buttons in the elevators.
As I observed the scene from the balcony, a protestor grabbed my arm yelling, “YOU are the 1%!” I can only conclude that he was jealous of my recent 100% salary increase. Life is great for unpaid interns.
Post-occupation, six protestors were arrested for unlawful conduct-demonstrating. Pete Morris, a representative of the Macpherson Square Occupy D.C. movement, clarified that his group did not support Hart protestors. He said his group always obtains permits before events.
Regardless of if you agree with the protestors or not, these kinds of events are part of the draw of living in D.C. Whether you’re stuck in traffic because of the President’s motorcade, or your lunch goes long because the South Korea President’s adviser decides to sit next to you on a bench, you always have a good excuse for being late to class!