Demonstrators protest on Key Bridge

(Photo: Jay Korff)

At least 250 protesters staged a demonstration along the Key Bridge connecting Georgetown with northern Virginia Thursday.

The protests are largely peaceful, with demonstrators positioned along both sides of the bridge pushing for union rights, jobs and broader issues of political and economic justice. They returned to their McPherson Square camp Thursday evening without incidents or arrests.

The protesters included nurses and union workers as well as younger people.

Officers blocked half of K Street for a march to the bridge Thursday afternoon. They also temporarily blocked half of the bridge. When protesters remained on the sidewalks of the bridge, police reopened it to cars.

There was a heavy police presence in Georgetown, with officers dressed in regular uniforms. On the Arlington, Va., side of the bridge, more than 30 officers stood by dressed in riot gear.

Adam Chadwick of New York City is visiting Occupy D.C. after participating in Occupy Wall Street protests. He says interactions between police and protesters are more peaceful in Washington, whereas there's an "air of fear" in New York.


Business owners on both sides of the Key Bridge were warned of the demonstration and prepared for whatever would happen.

“I haven't seen a protest since I've been working here about 10 years,” said Patrice Delva, who manages the Big Wheel bike shop in Georgetown.

By 6:15 p.m, the protesters had returned to McPherson Square. Police report that there were no incidents or arrests.

The peaceful demonstration on the Key Bridge was is in stark contrast to the events in New York, where at least 175 people were arrested, many for blocking streets near the New York Stock Exchange.

One man was taken into custody for throwing liquid, possibly vinegar, into the faces of several police officers, authorities said.

Police in Los Angeles arrested 23 people.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.