Occupy D.C.: Officer hit in face with brick by protester
An officer was hit in the face with a brick Saturday in the show-down between Occupy D.C. protesters and U.S. Park Police.
The officer suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken to an area hospital.
The protester who allegedly threw the brick was charged with assault on a police officer and assault with a deadly weapon.
Tensions have been growing throughout the day since police showed up in riot gear at McPherson Square.
At least eight protesters have been arrested.
At 6 a.m., police swarmed the camp. By midday, half a dozen protesters had been arrested. Earlier in the day, interaction between the protesters and police seemed calm as protesters agreed to take down the "Tent of Dreams" from the McPherson Square civil war statue.
Officers in riot gear cleared the way while others on horseback or motorcycles stood by. Crews in HazMat suits picked through the camp removing trash, dead rodents and any bedding, which has been banned.
But as officers methodically moved through the park inspecting for violations, tensions flared and the square became a battleground.
"I don't know why they have to make this war zone just to silence the voice of the people," said one protester.
Park police say they aren't evicting Occupy D.C.; just enforcing a camping ban.
"If those sights are in compliance…folks will be allowed to continue their vigil. Okay? Okay," said one police officer.
"You're taking away the right of free speech, everything Americans stand for," said one protester. "If you're really an American you'll stand up with us."
"They think they're cleaning house but they're cleaning the wrong house," said another protester. "These guys who think they're cleaning the Occupy house need to go clean the K street offices, the White House and Congress."
Despite Saturday's raid, the protesters are vowing to pick up the pieces and return to McPherson Square.
"There will be a reoccupation and it will be in numbers that nobody can ignore," said a protester.
It's unclear how much longer the McPherson Square raid will continue.
Over at Freedom Plaza, there were no reports of any police inspections, but D.C. protective services did set up a barricade outside the Wilson Building in case protesters decided to storm the building.