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A small crowd of Occupy DC protestors began to gather over the weekend in McPherson Square. As the chilly weather and ranshowers continued Monday, their numbers continued to grow, guided by social media and motivated by the expanding Occupy Wall Street demonstration in New York City's financial district. Scott Stadam works in Dupont Circle; and he took time off from his lunch break Monday to be here.
"Man we’re not cutting it," he says. "The middle class is not cutting it and everyone below the middle class isn't cutting it. We can’t pay our car loans, we can make our house payments, we can’t afford health insurance, we can’t go to college. We’re fed up but we don’t know what else to do."
Occupy DC participants say this location on K Street NW -- much like Wall Street -- represents the epicenter of the corporate financial dysfunction they seek to change.
The group demonstrated outside Bank of America at 17th and I streets NW Monday, and at one point, the bank pulled down its security gate, effectively shutting down the lobby, according to Micah Bales, one of the organizers for Occupy DC.
"We were just out there explaining to folks who were walking by that during this economic recession, 99 percent of the American people have suffered a lot," Bales says. "Among the 1 percent who haven't suffered are the executives at Bank of America. We were pretty surprised that they shut down the bank because of our presence. It was seriously just six of us out there with a few signs and a bullhorn."
D.C. Public Schools is abandoning longtime school food provider Chartwells in the wake of allegations of poor food quality and fraud and moving forward with new vendors for 2016. But, questions remain about the selection process and future oversight.