Protesters Arrested at US Capitol; Fear Eviction in NY

Posted October 13th, 2011 at 4:20 pm (UTC-5)
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Capitol police said they have arrested eight anti-war protesters after they interrupted the U.S. defense secretary during a hearing in Washington, the latest in a series of demonstrations and sit-ins that have gripped cities across America.

Police said seven protesters were charged with disruption of Congress. An eighth was charged with simple assault after the group, Stop the Machine, disrupted Thursday's hearing featuring testimony from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

This is the second time this week anti-war protesters have interfered with proceedings in Washington. Police arrested six protesters Tuesday, part of a group that tried to get into a U.S. Senate office building.

Supporters of Stop the Machine have been camped out in Freedom Plaza in downtown Washington for several days. They have been joined by members of the group Occupy DC, an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street group that has been staging demonstrations in New York.

Meanwhile, protesters with Occupy Wall Street say they fear the owner of the private park, where they have been camped out for almost a month, is trying to kick them out for good.

Hundred of protesters have been staying at Zuccotti Park, a privately-owned park near the New York Stock Exchange.

The park's owner is asking the protesters to leave temporarily so that crews can clean the park, promising they will be allowed back in as long as they obey park rules.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg visited the protesters Wednesday and assured them they would not be kicked out permanently.

Occupy Wall Street is a loosely organized, grass-roots movement that has held protests and sit-ins in various American cities. Demonstrators protest a variety of issues, including corporate greed and economic inequality.

Similar protests have also been taking place in Boston and in other major cities across the U.S.