Update at 5:55 p.m. — The few protesters who made it to the Virginia side of the Key Bridge were “pretty low-key,” says Arlington County police spokeswoman Det. Crystal Nosal. No arrests were made and no injuries were reported. A small group of young protesters wearing anarchist symbols and bandanas over their faces had a brief but peaceful confrontation with Arlington police that ended with the group crossing back into D.C.
Update at 4:50 p.m. — After a peaceful occupation of one of the bridge’s sidewalks, protesters have largely dispersed. Traffic on the Key Bridge is currently light and unobstructed.
Earlier: Several dozen Arlington County police officers in riot gear are stationed on the Virginia side of the Key Bridge, waiting to see if protesters from the Occupy D.C. movement decide to cross.
The heavy police presence on the Rosslyn side of the Potomac is accompanied by the presence of D.C. police mid-span and on the Georgetown side, and a U.S. Park Police helicopter overhead.
A couple hundred protesters are said to be marching in the District, compared to just over a dozen ‘Occupy NoVA’ demonstrators — mostly Verizon CWA union members — who marched down Wilson Boulevard around 3:00 this afternoon.
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) are advising the public about the possibility of traffic delays during the evening rush hour today (17 Nov) due to a planned demonstration and march by Occupy DC in the vicinity of the Key Bridge and McPherson Square.
The demonstration / march is scheduled to begin at 1430 and continue through the evening rush hour. Potential impacts include the possibility of heavy pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic between the Key Bridge, McPherson Square, and surrounding areas.
Arlington and D.C. police are stationed on either side of the Key Bridge to ensure the march remains orderly.
Yesterday we were the first to report about the newly-formed Occupy NoVA group’s plan to march from Ballston to the Key Bridge.
It’s not clear how many people will show up for the march. At this point, Occupy NoVA appears to be a loose coalition of, at most, a couple dozen people. And unlike their Occupy D.C. and Occupy Wall Street brethren, Occupy NoVA is not occupying anything at the moment. The group has not yet established any encampments — but they say that future plans are up for discussion.
Though Arlington is generally considered a bastion of progressivism in an otherwise right-leaning state, would county residents and workers support a move by Occupy NoVA to occupy a local park or square?
(Updated at 2:20 p.m.) A newly-formed group called ‘Occupy NoVA‘ plans to march from Ballston’s Welburn Square to the Key Bridge on Thursday afternoon.
“A national day of action is taking place around the country in the Occupy movement,” Occupy NoVA said on its website. “We are going to be marching on this day in solidarity with Occupy DC, from Welburn Square to join in a Labor-Community-Occupy Day of Action and March on the Key Bridge in Rosslyn/Georgetown in protest of the deterioration of our public infrastructure and public services.”
Protesters are expected to gather in Welburn Square at 2:00 p.m., before starting their march around 3:30 p.m. The marching route — which would take demonstrators through the heart of Clarendon, Courthouse and Rosslyn — includes parts of Wilson Boulevard, Clarendon Boulevard and N. Lynn Street. It’s not clear if protesters will be marching on the sidewalk or in the street.
So far, Arlington County Police have not had any comment on their planned response to the protest. Last week an Occupy D.C. spokesman told ARLnow.com that the movement was aware of the Occupy NoVA group’s existence.
Occupy NoVA has not yet set up any encampments, but the group says on its website that it will discuss further plans at meetings on Thursday.