Occupy DC: Hundreds protest, hold sit-ins and march

(Photo: Suzanne Kennedy)

People from all over the country have come to “occupy” D.C. and many are here with the same frustrations in mind. The economy. The war in Afghanistan. The direction of the country.

In D.C., hundreds are protesting, holding sit-ins and marches against what they call greedy corporations and the politicians who give them power.

Long Island, N.Y. resident Ash Straw says it’s time to speak up for everyday people.

“Something is wrong, something is wrong,” he said. “We have a culture that's built up on an illusion and sustained by a monetary system that’s really collapsing before our eyes.”

Today, Ash and dozens of others participated in Occupy DC's march from Freedom Plaza down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. Across the nation, protests have sprouted in New York, Chicago, Portland, Los Angeles and elsewhere.

They are protesting what they call wasteful government spending for an unnecessary war in the Middle East.

The group hopes the president hears their message loud and clear on the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion into Afghanistan.

“If we can’t all come together and hear each other and start to really look at the causes of all of these problems were facing its going to be a really difficult time in the next 10 years or so,” Straw said.

At the Ronald Reagan building, they protested a proposed new oil pipeline from Canada to Texas. Groups including October 2011 and Occupy DC have taken over Freedom Plaza - they're against the war, against corporate greed:

“It's just unfair, what they doing - the big corporate America,” said T.W. Boyd, of Temple Hills. “They stealing, they just taking, constantly taking.”

They're fueled by economic woes and frustration. Some, like James Davoe, are homeless:

“I can't find a job,” he said.

And some later gathered at the new Martin Luther King Memorial in a peaceful anti-war protest, leaving tourists like Rhoda Farrell marveling at it all.

“I don't know how much good any of these marches will do, unfortunately,” she said. “But it's letting the world know what the people want! And that's the best we can do.”