The Occupy DC movement came to Capitol Hill this morning as more than a hundred protesters filled the Hart Senate Office Building atrium with chants, banners and demands.
Their goal was to shut down Senate operations in the building, and for a little less than an hour, they did. Six protesters were arrested.
Shortly before 11:30 a.m., protesters with Occupy DC, as well as the Stop the Machine movement marking the 10-year anniversary of the war in Afghanistan, arrived in the Hart Building. They flooded the atrium, where the modern, steel “Mountain and Clouds” sculpture resides, and lined the several levels overlooking the ground floor.
Chanting “we are the 99 percent” and “tax the rich, end the war,” protesters waved banners reading “End the War” and “People for the People.”
Capitol Police officers warned they would be arrested if they failed to cease the commotion, and when a number of them did not comply, they were removed.
Capitol Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said the protesters were taken for processing at headquarters on charges of “unlawful conduct” and “demonstrating in a Capitol building.”
After the arrests were made and the atrium was cleared, police officers closed off the space to all those except credentialed staff.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.