For most of this week, the growing crowds of the “Occupy D.C.” movement have carried out their demonstrations peacefully. But matters threatened to spin out of control on Saturday afternoon when a group of protesters tried to enter the Air and Space Museum.
The protest was organized by October2011 with participation from members of Occupy DC.
According to Smithsonian spokesperson Linda St. Thomas, a crowd of “about 100 to 200 people” tried to enter through the museum’s Mall entrance.
“They were carrying signs and a lot of protest materials,” St. Thomas said in a statement. “You cannot bring that stuff into the museum under any circumstances.”
According to St. Thomas, the crowd tried to shove its way into the museum after being denied entry by security.
“One security guard was grabbed and pinned against the wall. He could not extract himself,” the spokesperson said. “Another security guard came over to help him and ended up pepper-spraying one person.”
Videos quickly circulated online showing Smithsonian security telling protesters to “get back” while protesters and bystanders covered their faces to shield themselves from the pepper spray. At least one person was seen writhing on the ground in apparent agony.
The museum was closed at 3:00 p.m. and one woman was taken into custody by police.
I was expecting at least one incident today. There have been incidents the past two weekends, and Saturday is a better day because then it makes the Sunday morning news shows. I predict that OWS isn’t just going to engage in peaceful protests, they are going to keep trying to provoke confrontations.
After all, you can’t stay in the news if you’re not making news, right?
BTW – Once again we have videos showing the aftermath but none of them show what led up to it.