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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

US REVOLT - Occupy Movement Turns Its Anger on Congress

The "Occupy" movement turned its sights on the federal government Tuesday as several hundred protesters marched to the Capitol, the White House and the Supreme Court.

Law enforcement officials said protesters threw a smoke bomb over the north fence at the White House, where demonstrators had marched. The Secret Service responded and examined the object, but it didn't appear to pose a danger, officials said. No arrests were immediately reported in the incident, which took place between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

At the Capitol, the protesters, who were marking four months since the beginning of the "Occupy Wall Street" protest on Sept. 17, outlined a list of grievances—from political campaign spending to favorable tax treatment for hedge-fund managers—that was as diverse as the places they hailed from.

On the other side of the National Mall, near the White House, "Occupy DC" encampments remained in place as the National Park Service, which controls the sites being used by the protesters, said it would meet with city officials about alleged unsanitary conditions.

House Republicans announced they would hold a hearing on the "Occupy DC" protest next week, raising the stakes in a budding debate about the Obama administration's decision to allow protesters to remain in McPherson Square, a federal park.

The protesters at the Capitol said they were frustrated with Congress and the perceived influence of money on politicians. Many said they had no plans to stop their demonstrations.

Another protest was scheduled for Friday in front of the Supreme Court, on the anniversary of its Citizens United ruling, which struck down federal limits on corporate and union political spending and which the protesters said paved the way for extra infusions of corporate cash into the political process.

On Tuesday evening, throngs of protesters left the Capitol lawn and went to the steps of the court, chanting "money is not free speech." Then the crowd marched down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House, where dozens grabbed hold of the wrought-iron fence around the mansion. One group held an "Occupy Wall St" banner. Some protesters wore masks or bandanas to cover their faces, while others posed for photos.

Continue reading - WSJ - Occupy Movement Turns Its Anger on Congress

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