D.C.

Occupy D.C. arrests total 31 after Sunday standoff over wood structure

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It started over a 15-foot-tall wooden frame, meant to keep protesters in McPherson Square warm for the winter.

Police dismantle the 15-foot-tall wooden structure after a day long standoff with protesters. (Photo: Associated Press)

The resulting day-long standoff between D.C. Police and Occupy D.C. protesters led to 31 arrests.

McPherson Square is a lot quieter on Monday morning, the day after dozens of people were arrested after police declared that the structure they had built in the square, where Occupy has been camping for months, was illegal.

Protesters said they built the structure to legal specifications, making it temporary and easy to move. The structure had no foundation and stood on stilts, they said.

But since the structure appeared permanent, was built without a permit and was deemed unsafe, police quickly ordered the shed taken down.

When protesters refused repeated orders to leave and dismantle the structure, the standoff began. Police closed several roads in the area, and the Vermont Avenue entrance to the McPherson Square Metro station was shut down for a period as well.

There are no reports of any injuries.

Police charged 15 people with crossing a police line and 16 more with disobeying a police officers. During the standoff, protesters refused to leave the structure, which was built on Saturday night.

Authorities eventually brought in a SWAT team and a cherry picker to complete the clearing of the structure. Some protesters clung to the top of the wooden frame while police attempted to take them into custody.

It took police 15 minutes to remove the last protester, who wrapped his legs around the frame.

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