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Washington Police Arrest 62 Protesters for Blocking Streets

Washington Police Arrest 62 Protesters for Blocking Streets
Occupy DC protesters block the intersection of 14th and K streets in Washington D.C., on Wednesday December 7, 2011. Photographer: Christopher Powers/Bloomberg

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Police arrested 62 people in Washington after about 300 demonstrators blocked three downtown streets to protest high unemployment and corporate bailouts.

Protesters aligned with the Occupy Wall Street movement marched in the rain carrying signs saying “We’re the 99%” and “We Need Jobs.” They used tables, tents and overturned newspaper-vending boxes to block traffic as drivers honked and yelled at the group. Police redirected traffic and formed lines to prevent further street closings.

“My entire family is unemployed,” said Olivia Mancin, 21, who drove to Washington two days ago from Pittsburgh to join the Occupy Washington movement. “My mother, my father, me. We aren’t lazy people. We want to work and something has to be done.”

Most of those arrested were charged with obstruction of public highways, said Araz Alali, a spokesman for the District of Columbia police department.

Demonstrators marched from McPherson Square, where protesters are camped three blocks from the White House, through parts of city’s downtown toward the executive mansion during lunch hour.

Earlier this week, 31 people were arrested at McPherson Square after U.S. Park Police tore down a plywood shelter built by protesters as a place to hold meetings in bad weather. Hundreds of demonstrators have been arrested across the U.S. since the protests began in New York Sept. 17.

To contact the reporter on this story: Carol Wolf in Washington at cwolf@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bernard Kohn at bkohn2@bloomberg.net

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