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Protesters Occupy Key Bridge Under Police Watch

A wall of Metro Police Department motorcycles blocks the route to Key Bridge in advance of the marching Occupy protesters.
Patrick Madden
A wall of Metro Police Department motorcycles blocks the route to Key Bridge in advance of the marching Occupy protesters.

Update, 5:45 p.m.: The protest at Key Bridge is winding down, as wind and temperatures near 40 degrees compel Occupy DC protesters to retreat from the bridge.

The march was peaceful, with police escorts following the protesters the entire route from McPherson Square to Key Bridge. Police reported no arrests, and the Occupy activists complied with orders to keep to the pedestrian sidewalks.

There were concerns that the march would have severe consequences for commuters, but the effects on traffic are described as minimal.

Update, 4:00 p.m.: As many as 200 protesters from Occupy DC and OurDC completed their march from McPherson Square to the Key Bridge, with a police escort the whole way.

They were met at the bridge by lines of police dressed in riot gear on both the D.C. and Arlington sides, who blocked protesters from the roadway with a wall of motorcycles. There are even a couple Coast Guard police boats patrolling the waters below.

As of 4 p.m., the groups are beginning to leave the bridge. Traffic is moving, but is somewhat compacted. WMATA reports that there might be residual delays for buses operating in the area of Georgetown and Key Bridge.

Update, 3:40 p.m.: Police are blocking major roads in Washington as Occupy DC protesters march from their McPherson Square encampment to the Key Bridge. Officers were blocking half of K Street for the march Thursday afternoon, along with traffic on half of the Key Bridge. No cars were being allowed to cross the bridge out of Washington.

There was a heavy police presence in Georgetown, with officers dressed in regular uniforms and not riot gear.

Police are warning drivers to avoid the area. 

Original Story: The evening commute could be tough for Virginia commuters, as protesters from Occupy DC and other movements plan to converge on the Key Bridge between 2:30 and 6 p.m. 

Protesters from the Occupy DC encampment in McPherson Square will be marching from downtown D.C. through Georgetown to meet with protesters from the OurDC movement at the Key Bridge. OurDC is a workers advocacy nonprofit that last month occupied the office of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, according to NBC Washington.

On the Virginia side of the bridge, demonstrators from the newly formed Occupy NoVA group will be marching from the Ballston neighborhood down to the Key Bridge to meet up with the other protest at 3:30 p.m. 

The protesters have said it is their intention to remain on the pedestrian sidewalks of the bridge, but the District Department of Transportation is warning commuters of potential traffic delays

The march intends to "call on Congress to create jobs, stop cuts, and make Wall Street banks pay," according to information on Occupy DC's website. The Key Bridge is a target of the demonstration because it's structurally deficient, and serves as "an example of the many roads, schools and other infrastructure sites in need of repair," according to Occupy DC.

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