L. Carol Ritchie
Arlington remained unoccupied Thursday. No marchers took up banners in Welburn Square at Ballston, and none were seen progressing to the Key Bridge, as publicized on the Occupy Northern Virginia web site earlier in the day.
Occupy D.C. protesters did set up posts at Key Bridge, part of a larger effort to call attention to the nation's ailing infrastructure. Key Bridge has been identified by the group Transportation for America as “structurally deficient.”
A little over a dozen Verizon union workers marched from their nearby Rosslyn office and across the bridge into D.C., but no organized Virginia occupiers had turned up by 4 p.m. The web site also wasn't working Thursday afternoon.
About ten scattered protesters stood holding signs on the Virginia side of the bridge, while a phalanx of at least 30 police officers in riot helmets lined lined the grass along the sidewalk. A police van, lights flashing, drew more attention parked at the intersection.
Scott Parish and Kurt Harrington, who work at an investment firm in Rosslyn, went out for coffee and to check out the scene. A Washington Post photographer, in a search of protesters, stopped Parish for an interview.
"We saw about 15 protesters walking across," said Harrington, a Maryland resident, as he watched his colleague talk to the photographer.
"I understand some of it," said Parish, an Arlington resident, after his brush with the media. “They have a legitimate gripe. I just don’t know what they want.”