At Freedom Plaza, right across the street from City Hall on Pennsylvania Avenue, between 200 and 300 people have gathered as part of the Occupy DC movement. The crowd is still growing as of 1 p.m.
It's a very colorful, peaceful protest. There are people singing folk songs and coloring bright signs and placards. Unlike the much larger Occupy Wall Street movement in New York, the crowd seems as much anti-war as anti-Wall Street. The group Code Pink is one of the groups demonstrating.
There is little police presence, other than traffic officers that are towing many of the vehicles around the plaza.
This comes after Wednesday night, when 50 to 75 Occupy DC protesters marched to the Newseum to speak to the 60 politicians, policy makers and business leaders meeting their as part of the 'Washington Ideas Forum.' Security there denied them entry, as the Newseum is not public property.
Occupy DC has no specific list of demands and is not officially affiliated with Occupy Wall Street, though they do profess to have many of the same beliefs, including the desire to curb income inequality and put an end to corporate money in politics. The group publishes updates on its website, as well as Twitter and Facebook.
Update, 5:00 p.m.: It was a loud, peaceful march through the streets of downtown D.C. Thursday as Occupy DC and other protest groups took their message to streets of Washington and the halls of power.
Protesters began first at Freedom Plaza just outside of City Hall. They were there for a couple hours Thursday afternoon, before they then went on to the White House, and were turned away by security guards. The group then made their way up to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where they held about an hour of demonstrations.
Then they took to the streets of Washington on K Street. Metropolitan police officers cleared the way for them through the heart of rush hour traffic, after which they made their way back to Freedom Plaza, where they are holding more protests and demonstrations.
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