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Piddler on the Roof

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Steve

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Piddler on the Roof

Over the weekend, Metropolitan Police removed Occupy DC protesters from “a barn-like structure” a few blocks from the White House. More than thirty arrests were made, including one young man who was charged with indecent exposure for urinating from the roof.

Occupy DC protesters have been squatting in McPherson Park, in the middle of one of Washington’s key commercial and government hubs, since October.

Not seemingly content with just living in tents over the last two months, Occupy D.C. protesters erected a wooden barn-like structure in McPherson Square early Sunday morning, provoking a nine-hour standoff with U.S. Park Police that ended in the arrest of 31 people.

The incident marked the single highest tally of arrests since the occupiers took the park and could substantially reshape the easy-going relationship they've had with local police. It also showed the ever-evolving ingenuity of the protesters, who have developed means and mechanisms for just about everything from a well-stocked library and kitchen to mobile communications units that allow them to publicize their aims and actions in real-time.

Protesters hoped that the 17-foot-tall structure, which was made from pre-fabricated pieces and was meant to mimic the Pentagon's architecture, could serve a shelter and a meeting space for the colder months. Park Police, though, felt otherwise; they claimed that it was a permanent structure, and gave protesters an hour to start dismantling it on Sunday morning.

Not content with that option, the protesters, who argued that the structure had no foundation and was therefore temporary and permitted, holed up within and on top of the frame as the afternoon went on. Park Police established a perimeter around the structure -- a number of people were arrested trying to cross police lines -- and eventually brought in metal barriers to separate a growing crowd from the barn-bound occupiers.

With the sun setting on the encampment, Park Police negotiators requested that a city building inspector asses the structure; after a brief walk around it, he ruled that it was unsafe for occupancy and affixed bright orange decals to it condemning it. The D.C. Department of Consumer Affairs told DCist that the structure suffered from "multiple code violations; major one was lack of structure being attached to anything to keep it secure." Predictably, protesters vehemently disagreed.

That “barn-like structure” line is instructive. to Occupy DCers, and the mainstream media, that building may look like a barn. And some media outlets have even called the erection of that structure “a barn raising,” but it is anything but.

Police then used a cherry picker, harnesses and rope to remove three of the protesters, a fourth was removed more forcefully when he refused to let go of the structure's frame. Before being taken down, he urinated from the structure, provoking cheers from the crowd. The move may not have been particularly wise, though -- the Post's Tim Craig reports that he faces charges of disobeying a lawful order, resisting arrest, indecent exposure and public urination. (The majority of those arrested were released within a few hours.)

By 9 p.m., police had dismantled the structure altogether.

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other then the pathetic urinator .. what is more pathetic is that in just 12 hours the building was tagged.. (graffiti)

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