Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Police arrested at least 11 people in downtown Washington and said they were detaining more after about 300 demonstrators blocked three streets to protest high unemployment and corporate bailouts.
Police in the U.S. capital expect a “substantial” number of additional arrests, said Araz Alali, a spokesman for the District of Columbia police department. The 11 arrests were for obstruction of a public highway, he said.
Protesters aligned with the Occupy Wall Street movement marched in the rain carrying signs saying “We’re the 99%” and “We Need Jobs.” They used tables, tents and overturned newspaper-vending boxes to block traffic as drivers honked and yelled at the group. Police redirected traffic and formed lines to prevent further street closings.
“My entire family is unemployed,” said Olivia Mancin, 21, who drove to Washington two days ago from Pittsburgh to join the Occupy Washington movement. “My mother, my father, me. We aren’t lazy people. We want to work and something has to be done.”
Demonstrators marched from McPherson Square, where protesters are camped three blocks from the White House, through parts of city’s downtown toward the executive mansion during lunch hour snarling traffic and disrupting businesses.
Earlier this week, 31 people were arrested at McPherson Square after U.S. Park Police tore down a plywood shelter built by protesters as a place to hold meetings in bad weather. Hundreds of demonstrators have been arrested across the U.S. since the protests began in New York Sept. 17.
--Editors: Andrea Snyder, Bernard Kohn
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