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October 10, 2011

Washington Demonstrators Seek to Continue Protest

by Sean Maroney

Anti-war and anti-Wall Street demonstrations are springing up in major cities across the United States, nearly a month after they started in the heart of New York's financial district. At the protest in Washington, demonstrators are trying to remain for as long as possible.

What was supposed to be a four-day demonstration in Washington against U.S. wars abroad and corporate greed showed no sign of ending Monday on its fifth day. People continued to protest a few blocks from the White House.

The occupation of Washington's Freedom Plaza by the October 2011 movement is one of two ongoing demonstrations in the capital alongside protests in major cities across the United States.



The group's permit to gather in the square expired late Sunday. National Park Police had given the group until Monday afternoon to leave.  

On Monday, police officers came to meet with the protestors, but the officers left after leaders of the movement refused to speak with them in private.

"Tell you what, we have your number, we'll be in contact with you," said one of the National Park policeman.

Tuesday morning, organizers said their permit had been extended for four months. But Park Police said nothing had been finalized.

Carla Fraydus said she left her home in Alabama without money to return, because she feels so strongly about the movement.

"This particular movement encompasses everything I care about. Everything. If you break down the problems that the country has or the world has, it's all based on unchecked corporate greed," said Fraydus.

Protest organizer Kevin Zeese said even if authorities do remove them from the park, they remain determined.

"Those of us who get arrested will come back and start again. We're not going to go away from an arrest for being in a federal park," said Zeese.

Zeese's group posted on YouTube what happened several days ago when some demonstrators tried to force their way past security at a museum to protest U.S. drone attacks in conflicts overseas.

Authorities arrested one person and used pepper spray to control the crowd.