OccupyDC: The McPherson Square Counter-Protest That Wasn't

WASHINGTON -- There was no sign of a counter-protest scheduled from noon to 3 p.m. on Thursday at McPherson Square, home to the ever-expanding -- and, at least lately, notably clean -- OccupyDC encampment.

The counterprotest's Facebook announcement for the event, called "Employ the 99%. Handing out job apps to the Occupiers," had apparently been overly compelling. Participants were scheduled to "hand out job applications, college applications and military recruitment info" to OccupyDC protesters -- characterized on the Facebook event page as "whining protesters." But a post from Thursday morning suggested, confusingly, that the event had become too popular to go on as scheduled: "[I]t sounds like we're going to have to push this back due to the overwhelming response from both sides of the debate." Sixty people were listed on Facebook as "attending" the event.

Kurt Mueller, an OccupyDC protester waiting in line at the food tent -- today's lunch was provided courtesy of Z Burger, which brought cheeseburgers, veggie burgers and fries for the crowd -- said he was disappointed that the counter-protesters hadn't come. He said he'd been looking forward to them handing out job applications -- and was even ready to fill some out. "I'll get a job," he said.

Alex, a protester who declined to give her last name, said she had also been looking forward to the counter-protest. She works near McPherson Square, she told Huff Post, and she'd made up a fake resume to hand out to the counter-protesters. It advertises her skills as "Chef, sign-maker, note-taker. Experienced with the consensus process, people's mike, horizontal organizing." She also listed her technical skills as including Java, C++, C, HTML, Perl, Drupal and a lot of other computer languages, systems and programs.

"I have a job," she said, handing a copy of the resume to The Huffington Post. "But you never know in this economy when you're going to be downsized."

An announcement was made that a march would soon be underway to go protest at a nearby bank. Some of the protesters left for the march. Craig Hudson remained behind, and Peter Tabibian from Z Burger walked over with a burger wrapped in foil. Tabibian said Z Burger would be back with more food that evening, and hoped to come back to McPherson Square every week after this.

Hudson thanked Tabibian, and said he wished it were better understood that this group doesn't oppose capitalism per se. Unwrapping the donated burger, Hudson said, "We love small businesses!"

The counter-protest has not yet been rescheduled -- and organizers did not return Huff Post's request for information. Members of Occupy DC say it's fine for the counter-protesters to come by when they're ready.

"Individuals come through every once in a while being jerks," said Joe Gray, sitting at the McPherson Square welcome tent. "But that's welcome."