The Occupy D.C. protesters are returning to McPherson Square park, after it was closed late Saturday when tensions escalated between the protesters occupying the park and the U.S. Park Police trying to enforce the no camping rules at the park.
McPherson Square reopened Sunday afternoon, after police removed several tents for violating the no camping rules, and for being considered a biohazard. Some of the tents are still standing, but the park looks remarkably different from Friday... Officials said it was relatively peaceful but got tense late Saturday when an officer was hit in the face with a brick as police pushed protesters out of the last section of the park. The officer was taken to a hospital for treatment... [A] total [of] 11 people were arrested.
...Officials used barricades to cordon off sections of McPherson Square, a park under federal jurisdiction near the White House, and checked tents for mattresses and sleeping bags and sifted through piles of garbage and other belongings. Some wore yellow biohazard suits to guard against diseases identified at the site in recent weeks. Officials also have raised concerns about a rat infestation.
That move left large swaths of open space and raised questions about exactly what would remain of the encampment once the enforcement was over.
"We found urine soaked bedding materials, bottles of urine, and in some of the tents we found dead rats," says U.S. Park Police spokesman David Schlosser.
The Washington Examiner has before and after pictures of McPherson Square.