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D.C. saw its fair share of vandalism last weekend—mostly on Friday, when riot police clashed with protesters employing black bloc tactics, which resulted in several broken business windows, trash can and news box fires, and a limousine set ablaze. But on Saturday, HIPS—a nonprofit advocacy group that supports the health and rights of sex workers and drug users—found itself the victim of vandalism when someone threw a brick through its front door at 906 H St. NE.
Cyndee Clay, HIPS executive, tells City Paper that a Metropolitan Police Department officer called her on Saturday night, just before the organization’s overnight outreach van was dispatched, to let her know that its office had been vandalized. She says the brick or stone appears to have been taken from the construction site next door and that no note was left.
“It doesn’t look like they came in,” Clay says. “The drop-in center was not trashed, and that was my first fear.”
Clay says that the agency had received no direct threats before it happened, which was a concern considering that inauguration weekend drew hate groups to D.C. “We’re kind of confused by this,” Clay says.
“After a weekend of so much important solidarity and positive energy, it was a shock,” HIPS posted in a note on Facebook. “It’s going to take more than a brick to dishearten us.”
Within a few hours of the incident, HIPS had its door boarded up, and Clay says the glass was replaced this morning. According to an MPD public information officer, the incident isn’t being investigated as a hate crime.