Occupy DC: Tensions Rise, Police Tase and Arrest Protester 'Lash'
As the National Park Service enforces a regulation banning camping at McPherson Square that began at noon on Monday, many protesters are still "camped out" on grounds claiming their right to free speech and protesting the treatment of Lash, an innocent protester police office JL Lemke and Commanding Officer Sgt. Reid tased and arrested.
Occupy Protesters in Washington D.C. at Freedom Plaza and McPherson Square have been occupying for four months. Now, the Nation Park Service wants to ban camping to please the Republican lawmakers. The ban on camping explains quite clearly that it includes "temporary structures to store personal belongings and laying down of bedding for the purpose of sleeping".
However, protesters aren't going anywhere. According to one protester, they've rolled their sleeping bags up and opened their tents to show the police they aren't "camping". If the police enforce the law, many say they are willing to spend the night in jail.
Tensions began on Sunday but continue to rise. A protester known as Lash was tasered and arrested by police in what some other protesters call "excessive force". Lash reportedly became angry when police entered his tent, when he was then chased by a female officer until two other officers came to take him down, and then tasered him to the ground before handcuffing him and dragging him into a police car.
Ellie Milne, an occupier and daughter of a police officer says she was raised to trust the police force, however she says the incident showed "blatant police brutality".