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Occupy protesters bring their discontent to Congress

Alex Wong / Getty Images

William Griffin of the Occupy movement is arrested by U.S. Capitol Police during Tuesday's Occupy Congress protest.

Hundreds of protesters gathered on a grassy knoll in front of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday for an Occupy Congress protest, bringing the nationwide protest movement to the steps of the country's legislative branch.

Under cloudy skies and occasional drizzle, protesters held “mic checks” to announce where they had journeyed from to join the protest. Many wore yellow index cards stating: "This space is occupied."

In the early hours of the event there were a few scuffles between protesters and police, and one man was taken away by police for reasons that were unclear. Also some protesters tore down green mesh netting lining a wall on the lawn.


The numbers of people had not yet reached the thousands expected by demonstrators who helped organize the event, though many of the larger events -- such as a march by the three branches of government -- were scheduled for later in the day.

 

Some of the protesters attended planned meetings with their lawmakers to talk about their grievances, including a group from Greensboro, N.C., that met with Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan's staff in her office.

"To be in a participatory democracy is very exciting,” said one of them, Cynthia Maddox, who also was streaming video of the group’s activities. “To feel like I'm being heard, and that all of us are being heard, I think it's given people voices that haven't had a voice for a long time. And that's where the frustration comes from ... not being heard."

Click here for previous post on the protest: Occupy Congress: Will it be politics as unusual?