With signs and posters galore, protesters marched from Occupy Washington’s ‘home’ in Franklin Square Park, shown here, to EPA headquarters at 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.     (VoB Photos/Kaitlin Nëwman, except as otherwise indicated)


Protest sign at Washington, D.C. demonstration Friday makes refer- ence to popular British radio series.


Justice for Trayvon Martin, teen killed in Fla.,
is also subject  of protest  in nation’s capital

By Kaitlin Nëwman
It was a week of peaceful protests all around the country.

From demonstrations in downtown Baltimore and New York expressing outrage at the killing of a teen in Sanford, Fla., to picketing at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. in protest of universal healthcare, demonstrators turned out during the last week of March in full force.

On Friday, as rain misted across the nation’s capital, hundreds of protesters marched more than a mile from Franklin Square Park, where the Occupy Washington movement is centered, to the headquarters of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at 12th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in the city’s Northwest sector.

Tents dotted the park, many tagged with cardboard signs and anarchic symbols. One sign read, “There’s no PlanET B,” a dual reference to a facetious “Plan B” as well as the popular British science-fiction radio series of the past three years which features an alternate universe.

The protest was a combined effort by members of OccupyCongress, OccupyEPA and D.C. members of the National Organization for Women (NOW) in support of efforts to improve and save the environment. Demands ranged from “environmental justice for low-income communities” to protecting the civil rights of federal employees.

Occupy Washington protesters demonstrate at headquar- ters of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Friday. (VoB Photo/Andrew Windham)

The main issues that were iterated and reiterated were those of protecting the people and the planet, as opposed to corporate profits.

Justice for Trayvon Martin, the teen who was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla., was also a current issue that created a stir. Signs dotted the cityscape: “We Have Guided Missiles and Misguided Men” and “Climate Stabilization and Ecological Well Being” were only a few among the many neon posters.

Protesters delivered speeches on other current issues and problems that need solutions now, they said, in order to prevent what they believe could be a disastrous future.

When asked why she was there, Kate Holmes, 31, told Voice of Baltimore: “I’m here mostly for my children. I’m worried about what kind of life they’re going to have and about the longevity of their civil liberties.”

The Occupy Movement has gone long and strong since its beginnings last September, attracting activists for many more issues than simply occupying Wall Street.

“I think the most memorable experience I’ve been through,” said Ian Williams, 27, “is jail support for the members of Occupy Wall Street who were unjustly arrested, and reminding the criminal justice system that what they [the system] did was wrong.”

Capital Police stood guard around the protesters in order to prevent things getting out of hand.

Most of the officers smiled and joked with protesters as the police went about their civil protection duties.
Editor’s note:  Stevenson University photography major Andrew Windham accompanied VoB reporter Kaitlin Nëwman to Washington and filed this video of the protesters:  (click here).

Demonstration at U.S. Supreme Court last week in protest of universal healthcare. The nine justices were inside taking an initial vote on whether to rule the new law unconstitutional.    (VoB Photo/Tim Young)


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