Protesters Arrested At Franklin School - NBC4 Washington

Protesters Arrested At Franklin School

DC Police entered a city-owned building occupied by the group "Free Franklin" which draws its inspiration from Occupy D.C.



    Thirteen protesters were arrested after trying to camp out in the Franklin School. (Published Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011)

    District of Columbia police arrested 13 protesters after they entered a city-owned building in downtown Washington.

    The group "Free Franklin" began occupying the four-story Franklin School on Saturday, protesting the lack of housing for homeless people. The building served as a homeless shelter until 2008.

    Members of the group, which draws its inspiration from Occupy D.C., lowered a banner from the roof that said "Public Property under Community Control." More than 60 supporters gathered in a park near the historic building and cheered protesters. The building is two blocks from Occupy D.C.'s encampment.

    Police watched as protesters hung the banner and later called firefighters and more officers to the scene. Protesters said police and firefighters later entered the building with crow bars and other instruments. Supporters blocked alleys around the building and chanted, "We are the 99 percent."

    Eleven protesters were arrested initially. Police arrested two more after a second sweep of the building, News4's Darcy Spencer reported. These protesters were found in the sub-basement with food and other provisions, indicating they were prepared for a long-term stay.

     According to the National Park Service's website, the Franklin School is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Designed by Adolph Cluss, the school was completed in 1868 and won prizes for its modern schoolhouse design. It was also the scene of Alexander Graham Bell's first wireless message in June 1880.