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Protesters occupy DC in the rain

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Only about a dozen protestors stood in McPherson Square on Wednesday afternoon, as rain soaked the square’s new community.

For eleven days, protestors have gathered in Washington’s McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza as their part of the “Occupy” movement, sparked last month with the New York City protests, dubbed Occupy Wall Street.

At their height, the protests in D.C. have gathered thousands of demonstrators to march through the city’s streets. On Wednesday afternoon in McPherson Square, however, that was not the case.

Wednesday brought torrential rain and a high temperature of only 64 degrees, making it the coldest day of the last week in Washington, and unfortunately for the protestors, the results were clear.

Tents

In the makeshift campsite on the northern portion of the square, only a handful of protestors could be found chatting, eating and holding their hourly protest activities.

Gaithersburg Md.’s Joe Gray, who has been at the protests since Oct. 6 says the rain did not impact him.

“I didn’t sleep here last night, so I didn’t get any sleep rain. I heard that was difficult,” said Gray. “But the rain isn’t hard for me at all.”

Demonstrators took from a box of ponchos, supplied by the Transport Workers Union, who has supported the protests in DC to this point along with the Service Employees International Union, which hosted its Justice for Janitors march alongside the Occupy DC protests.

Additionally, the site featured a food tent, offering free fruit, hot meals and even some desserts, a tobacco exchange in which protesters can take cigarettes and leave money to purchase more.

“Everywhere where this is going on, this is more than a protest. This is a setup of community,” said Heather, an Annapolis Md. resident who only offered her first name. “We’re also learning more about the vision of the world that we want to live in, where everybody has a voice, we take care of each other and we’re sustainable.”

The protest in Freedom Square, primarily backed by the group “Stop the Machine,” recently reached a deal with the National Parks Service, which oversees both of the sites, to potentially remain there until Dec. 30.

“We’re pretty well set up,” said D.C. resident and Madison Wis. native James Ploeser “We could use some more infrastructure, but I think the first rainy day has proven that we’re here to stay rain or shine.”

About the author: Dan Appenfeller

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