City Paper is not for tourists
The Metropolitan Police Department alone spent about $1.3 million on Occupy DC as of Nov. 29, including $74,000 for overtime pay. But that total doesn’t include services provided by other city agencies, according to the D.C. Council’s Judiciary Committee. It also doesn’t incorporate the cost of the massive police presence required at two Occupy protests last week, including the arrest of 31 protesters who built a wooden structure in the McPherson Square park and 62 others who blocked K Street intersections during the evening rush hour.
The U.S. Park Police insist they won’t be evicting occupiers—-who lack a permit for using McPherson Square—-from the space. While other cities across the country have done so, obviously, none of those cities are also the nation’s capital. Could the continued support be another battle in the D.C. statehood war? While District services are being used to help support the protesters, the people who decide whether they stay are in the federal government. And it’s possible the federal government is worried that refusing to give quarter to protesters in the capital would simply look bad.