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DC Protests: Reports Of Pepper-Spray Incident At Air And Space Museum

Group not affiliated with Occupy Wall Street


D.C. police officers tape off the entrance to the National Air and Space Museum as demonstrators approach in Washington on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011, as part of the small "Stop the Machine" protest in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

WASHINGTON -- According to dispatches on Twitter, security officials at the Smithsonian Air and Space museum used pepper spray on "Stop the Machine" demonstrators protesting an exhibition on drone aircraft, which is described as a "glorification of extra-judicial executions and the military industrial complex at a public institution" on the group's Facebook page. The group reportedly made their way inside the museum, located on the National Mall near the U.S. Capitol, and dropped a three-story banner that read "No Drones, Stop the Afghan War."

The protesters have asked for donations of T-shirts, saline and towels to be brought to the first-aid tent in Freedom Plaza, the home base of the "Stop the Machine" protests.

The Air and Space museum is closed for the rest of the day, according to its website.

Around 150 protesters made their way north on 7th Street NW toward Gallery Place, where Washington Capitals hockey fans were assembling for Saturday night's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Verizon Center. Around 4:50 p.m., they paused for a few minutes at F Street NW in front of the National Portrait Gallery where they shouted chants before moving on elsewhere in downtown.

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