WASHINGTON – Hundreds of Occupy DC supporters took over the Francis Scott Key Bridge linking Washington D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood with the Rosslyn area of Arlington, Va. on Thursday during the evening rush hour. The Key Bridge is the same structure President Obama used recently as the backdrop for a speech promoting his jobs bill.
One protester, spiritual leader James Burch, said Jesus Christ would support the march, which began at Occupy DC’s home at McPherson Square because greed contradicts Christian teachings.
“The government’s good, the people are good. The system is bad,” Burch told The Daily Caller. He leads the Catholic Diocese of One Spirit, a progressive religious organization that is not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. The group is best known for ordaining women and performing “Same Sex Holy Union” marriage ceremonies.
The march was led by Occupy DC protesters and labor union organizers including some with OurDC, a non-profit organization affiliated with the Service Employees International Union. Improving the nation’s infrastructure at sites like the Key Bridge, they said, would create jobs.
“All of these people, we’re all unemployed so we’re fighting,” said OurDC member Nadenia Miller, who said she has been unemployed for three years.
Communications Workers of America member Latasha Carpenter said the marchers, while representing different groups, shared the collective goal of stopping what she called the “schoolyard bully.”
“Corporate greed, the wealthy person and the government think everything’s supposed to go to them,” she said. “They’re the bullies. The only way to stop the bully is for everybody to ban together.”
National Nurses United also participated and offered medical services to protesters.
“The protests in New York are obviously very, very important, but D.C. is where a lot of policy happens,” NNU member Kate Talbot-Minkin told TheDC.
The march was far more orderly than Thursday’s Occupy Wall Street protests in New York, which involved direction confrontation with law enforcement. At the Key Bridge, protesters stayed mostly on the sidewalk.
Protesters in Chicago and Los Angeles blocked off major intersections Thursday, and at least 300 were arrested in New York City.