"Do You Want to Go to Jail?"

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 10 2012 1:23 PM

"Do You Want to Go to Jail?"

The Occupy movement arrived at CPAC, a little late, building a line of protest in front of the hotel shortly after noon. Media interest, stoked for days, was high. CPACs interest was in stopping 1200 or so reporters from being distracted from the events they were putting on.

This was done by putting a line of police between the "occupation" -- really just a protest, with some kitschy tents -- and the conference attendees and reporters. Protesters moved towards the hotel, were ushered away by police, and settled back down the hill. Anyone approaching them, like conservatives with "STAND WITH [SCOTT] WALKER] signs or bloggers with cameras, was told that he would be arrested if he stayed." I filmed a few bloggers as they tried.

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At the moment the video cuts out, you'll notice the cop grabbing his handcuffs and walking towards me. A second later he reached me and said "I already warned you once." He dangled the handcuffs about a foot from my face. "Do you want to go to jail?" I told him that I hope he'd have a nice day. If he was successful, this Occupy protest and another protest at 5 would be pure, ignored sideshows. Back in the CPAC ballroom, Mitt Romney was giving an uninterrupted speech to a packed room.

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

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