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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 10/8/11

Reporter And Occupy Wash Dc Protesters Pepper Sprayed At National Air And Space Museum

When participants in a peaceful, non-violent march which departed from the Freedom Square Occupy Washington DC staging area attempted to enter the National Air and Space Museum, guards and police responded violently, pepper-spraying a journalist and protesters so the doors outside were surrounded by people choking, wheezing, prostrated on the ground, eyes blinded or tearing from direct and indirect exposure to pepper spray. [see correction below]
I had gone ahead of the group of 700-1500 protesters, carrying signs opposing the use of drones to indiscriminately kill. The National Air and Space Museum had been targeted because it is celebrating the use of drones. 
After less than a dozen people had entered the foyer of the museum, and just a handful of activists had entered the actual museum, guards rushed to the doors and blocked further entry. 
Within seconds, more guards arrived. They started spraying pepper spray at anyone nearby. 
photo by Cheryl Biren 
more images from Cheryl Biren's flickr page Anti-drone action, Air and Space Museum
It happened so fast it's hard to sort out what exactly happened. But we know that at least one photojournalist, Cheryl Biren, who took the above and following photo, with clearly displayed media /Press ID was sprayed directly. 
 (Photo by Cheryl Biren,
The first video shows activity first, within the entry foyer, then outside. 

video by rob kall,
The guards pursued people outside, continuing to pepper-spray people indiscriminately. 
Pepper-sprayed protesters (Photo taken by Cheryl Biren AFTER she was pepper-sprayed)
Opednews photojournalist Cheryl Biren, recovering from being sprayed directly. (image screen grab from video by rob Kall
Tighe Barry and a fellow protester managed to unfurl a three story high banner with the message, No Drones End Afghan War, before being taken into custody by guards. He was  released relatively quickly. (photo by Bill Perry)
Video taken moments after the above video where Pepper spray was  used.
video by rob kall
Following the interaction between the guards and the protesters and media people, a member of the police SWAT team came out, cleared people from the door, announcing that the museum was "shut down."
SWAT team member turning away tourists, saying that the Museum has been shut down. (photo by Cheryl Biren)
Update. MSNBC has used the second of my two videos on their website. They're quoting a guard saying there were 100-200 people. I say there were 700-1500.  And they quote a spokesperson reporting that one person was pepper sprayed-- I saw at least ten people suffering the effects of pepper-spray, and the guards did not just spray one aggressive protester. They chased after people and sprayed outside.
And I was inside the entry vestibule when the guards starting shooting pepper spray. There was no-one violent who they shot at [addendum: that I witnessed]. No-one. I did not see all the action inside the museum. 

Correction: In the original post, it was written that  guards had thrown people to the ground. It was observed that when the guards charged into the vestibule a woman was knocked to the ground though the exact manner in which that occurred is presently unclear. 
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Rob Kall Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. 

Check out his platform at

He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity

He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites,

more detailed bio: 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet (more...)

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