City Desk

The Tent Is Too Damn High: A Year of Occupy D.C.

D.C. members of the Occupy movement returned to Freedom Plaza this week to mark the one-year anniversary of their first protests. Oh, what a long strange trip it’s been.

Oct. 1, 2011: Occupy D.C. protesters pitch tents in McPherson Square, two weeks after Occupy Wall Street launched in New York.

Oct. 7, 2011: Stop the Machine activists encamp in Freedom Plaza.

Oct. 26, 2011: Occupy protesters march on the John A. Wilson Building and replace the District’s flag with an Occupy standard.

Oct. 28, 2011: In an email to DCist, Occupiers apologize for taking down D.C.’s flag.

Nov. 1, 2011: Freedom Plaza Occupiers publish the first edition of their occupation-themed paper, The Occupied Washington Post.

Dec. 4, 2011: Occupiers in McPherson Square erect the “Occubarn,” a wooden structure guaranteed to incite the Park Police. Thirty-one people are arrested, some after being plucked from the roof.

Dec. 5, 2011: Jackson Browne plays a concert in Freedom Plaza.

Dec. 8, 2011: Three Occupiers launch a hunger strike in support of D.C. voting rights.

Dec. 19, 2011: Two of the hunger strikers, plus an additional striker who joined the fast after it had already begun, start eating, leaving only protester Adrian Parsons.

Jan. 1, 2012: Parsons ends his strike with broth, coconut water, and honey. The honey tastes so good, he tells the Huffington Post, he could almost “smell the flowers the bees made the honey from.”

Jan. 9, 2012: The director of the District’s Department of Health compares conditions in the Occupy encampments to refugee camps.

Jan. 30, 2012: Park Police announce plans to enforce a no-sleeping rule at McPherson Square. Occupiers go on “sleep strike” to regain their sleeping rights.

Feb. 4, 2012: Eight protesters are arrested as Park Police evict Occupy D.C. from McPherson Square.

Feb. 10, 2012: Conservative media baron Andrew Breitbart calls Occupy protesters at the Conservative Political Action Conference “freaks and animals.”

July 19, 2012: The Washington Post runs a story on the "occuhouse," a Petworth townhouse that hosts a rotating cast of Occupiers. Proponents say they're engaged in "land liberation"; neighbors say they're playing bongos and having sex on the porch.

Sept. 9, 2012: Reflecting their more sedate place in the city's left firmament, an Occupy group co-sponsors a Busboys & Poets forum with D.C. councilmembers.

Oct. 1, 2012: Occupiers return to Freedom Plaza to mark their anniversary, protest inequality, and, as is traditional, snarl traffic.

What was your favorite Occupy moment? Protest our omissions in the comments.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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