WASHINGTON -- An estimated 400 to 500 people gathered in Freedom Plaza on Thursday, participating in the "Stop the Machine" protest, a separate but parallel action to the ongoing Occupy DC protest in McPherson Square and the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York. The protesters, whose numbers are growing, have been waving signs and chanting about war, student loans, undue corporate political influence, unequal economic conditions, and bank bailouts. The protest has been calm so far.
Many protesters left Freedom Plaza around 3 p.m. and marched on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce headquarters demanding jobs. Protesters have been returning to Freedom Plaza after marching through downtown.
Freedom Plaza's evening program of music includes Emily Angell, Emma's Revolution, and Ted Rall begins at 6:30 p.m., and is followed by a 9:30 p.m. candlelight vigil.
Protesters have asked for donations of water and food. One D.C. pizza business is offering a protest special of $20 for two large pizzas.