Dozens of Occupy Our Homes DC activists attempted to prevent a court-ordered eviction in Washington D.C. on Tuesday before being forcefully removed from the property by U.S. Marshals. They were attempting to stave off the eviction on behalf Dawn Butler, a D.C. resident who has lived at her home for over six years.
The Activists gathered outside the home around 8 a.m. with D.C. Metro Police and U.S. Marshals arriving shortly thereafter. Metro Police warned protesters that they would be subject to arrest after multiple warnings if they didn’t leave the property. U.S. Marshals then announced that they would carry out the eviction. When protesters refused to leave, the Marshals began forcefully removing them, dragging some across the sidewalk and others down the front stairs.
Some of the activists had tied themselves to milk crates and the front door to prevent marshals from entering. The Marshals brutally yanked protesters away while ripping half of the home’s front door with them.
An eviction crew entered the home and removed all of Butler’s belongings, scattering them along the sidewalk.
Butler doesn’t own the home, but has rented it since 2006. Her landlord fell behind on her mortgage payments while sick with cancer, and the property was foreclosed on—but D.C. law says tenants have the first right of purchase on a home where the landlord loses the title. Butler claims she has repeatedly tried to buy the home but has been repeatedly ignored or thwarted by JP Morgan Chase and a local foreclosure firm.
The court granted Butler a stay from eviction on April 2, but issued an order for eviction Monday.
No one was arrested, but two people were taken to the hospital. A U.S. Marshal was hit in the head by a piece of falling debris. He was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. One Occupier suffered what appeared to be a serious concussion and was unconscious on the ground for several minutes and later taken to Howard University Hospital in an ambulance.