Occupy DC: Get Off My Lawn!

The Examiner's David Freddoso has a few words for the Occupy DC protesters: "Get off my lawn!"

The Examiner’s David Freddoso has a few words for the Occupy DC protesters: “Get off my lawn!”

The Occupy D.C. protests, as Conn noted the other day, continue to violate federal law by camping out on National Park Service Land. Law enforcement officials from the alphabet soup of agencies that police D.C. are letting them get away with it.

You could say they haven’t harmed anyone here downtown, except that they have. In McPherson Square, where some two or three dozen of them have been camping out for the last week, they have already ruined a few newly sodded sections of the park. The re-sodding of the park was completed this year as part of a $419,000 stimulus project to refurbish the square. The park, which is across from the Examiner Building in downtown D.C., was shut down for months during the project.

You could say they’re stimulating the economy, because now taxpayers will have to cough up a few thousand more to fix the damage.

What you see in the accompanying photos are portions of the park where tents have been removed recently. In a few spots, the grass is only mostly dead, but in others it’s dead and gone, and the new sod has given way to mud. The areas where the Occupiers have their tents pitched right now will be all mud before the end of this week, if they aren’t already.

The “mostly dead” reference conjures up both”The Princess Bride” and Python’s “Dead Parrot Sketch.”

I’m just a block up from The Examiner‘s office and pass the square every morning on my way in to work. It’s definitely an eyesore right now with the tents and signs. On the other hand, they’re at least surrounded by streets in this location (directly across from a Metro subway station) and therefore not creating much of a nuisance in terms of noise or congestion.

I’m not sure what value the campout portion of the demonstration has, really, aside from whatever symbolism goes with “occupying” some little park-like surface. But, as civil disobedience goes, it’s pretty mild.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. JKB says:

    Except that if they don’t permit protesters to remain in the future then they have a free speech problem. So will the administration, any administration in the future, be willing to let those whom they don’t favor camp out in the park?

    Or is it some animals are more equal?