Justin Jacoby Smith is an organizer, web geek, Buddhist, and poet.

"the occupations report"

Occupy DC appeared to enter a new phase this week when a march in solidarity with local construction workers was met with a significantly increased police presence. When Occupy DC, the Laborers, and DC Jobs or Else set out from McPherson Square to march to a nearby Clark Construction worksite where they say management is refusing to hire local workers, multiple Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) squad cars and motorcycles, as well as four police on horseback, lined the street before the protesters had even left the park. When marchers attempted to take the street, as they have routinely in recent weeks, they were forced back onto the sidewalk by police wielding batons and the mounted police. One Occupy DC activist told Union City that he suspected the police escalation was in response to occupiers’ successful demand for an investigation into hit-and-run incidents during Friday night’s action that injured several occupiers; others said it was in response to Mayor Gray’s warning Monday that occupiers “ensure that their protests are peaceful and not discredited by violence.”