Another World is Possible

Occupy Congress Essential Tips

Occupy Congress Essential Tips

Freedom Plaza and McPherson Square are excited to be hosting Occupy Congress and hope that it will be one of the largest gatherings that the Occupy Movement has seen. Since we are expecting thousands of people to come into D.C., please be aware of a few important things before you get here that will make everyone’s time here as safe, productive, and stress-free as possible.

What to bring…

Water: Unfortunately, the city of Washington D.C. shuts off many of its drinking fountains in the winter to avoid pipes bursting. Therefore, we advise bringing multiple bottles of water. There will be some water available on site, but supplies cannot be guaranteed.

Food: While the area around the Capitol is a busy area with many restaurants and some free food donations are expected, a steady supply of food cannot be guaranteed. It is strongly advised that participants bring their own food to consume throughout the day’s activities and overnight. Ready to eat food is highly recommended. This includes:
granola bars, dried fruit, trail mix, crackers, and peanut butter and jelly. If you have access to a military supply store, they should have “meals ready to eat” which are full meals that can be consumed on the go.

A tent: If you plan on protesting at Freedom Plaza, McPherson Square, or anywhere else in the city, overnight, please bring your own tent. While there are some unused tents at both sites, neither site can guarantee accommodations. If you have multi-person tents, please try to coordinate with others coming from your local occupation to share and conserve space. Also tents are not allowed on Capitol Grounds and could result in the day’s activities to be broken up early, so we encourage tents instead be set up at either McPherson Square or
Freedom Plaza.

A warm blanket or cold weather sleeping bag: While the high temperatures are expected to be in the upper 40’ss on January 17th, the evening temperatures are expected to dip into the low 30s. Please bring an extra blanket and/or a cold weather sleeping bag if you plan on joining the tented protests around Washington D.C.

Winter clothes: Since there is a chance of precipitation on January 17th, it is very important to bring waterproof boots, rain ponchos, and wool socks just in case. Layering clothes, including wearing long johns, and wearing a hat will help fight any cold that may occur.

If you have extra to spare of any of the above items, Freedom Plaza or McPherson Square are glad to take donations for those who are unable to afford these items in the days leading up to Occupy Congress.

What to know…

Accommodations: Freedom Plaza and McPherson Square are located in the Downtown/Golden Triangle neighborhood of Washington D.C. close to the White House. Nearby neighborhoods that you can look into for accommodations are: Capitol Hill, Chinatown/Mount Vernon Square, Dupont Circle, Foggy Bottom, and Shaw/Logan Circle.

If you plan on occupying, there is currently more empty space at Freedom Plaza. Please go to Freedom Plaza and begin filling it up first. Once Freedom Plaza is full, additional people can start occupying McPherson Square.

Parking: For those who plan on driving to Washington D.C., please be aware that parking near the Capitol can be expensive and hard to find (a list of possible spots is at

There are many Metro Park and Rides on the Orange and Blue Lines which cost about $9.00 per day for parking and will take you right to the Capitol South station. Please consult for more information on where you can park including limited overnight parking at a few stations.

Law Enforcement: Please be aware that there are many different law enforcement jurisdictions in Washington D.C. and arrests may occur (as much as the Occupy Congress organizers are working to try and avoid them). There is no bail fund for the event and it is advised that participants meet with their local occupations to coordinate potential bail in advance. Please note that the average fine for civil disobedience in Washington D.C. is $100.00.

Where to go…

Welcome and information tents will be set up at Freedom Plaza and McPherson Square. While no one is required to “check-in,” it is advised that participants who arrive for Occupy Congress early stop by one of the two protest sites and pick up further, updated, information sheets and meet other occupiers.

Most buses that arrive in Washington D.C. will arrive into Union Station.

To get to Freedom Plaza from Union Station, take the Red Line toward Shady Grove and detrain at Metro Center. Take the 13th and G Street exit and walk south towards the Washington Monument. Turn right on Pennsylvania Avenue.

To get to McPherson Square from Union Station, take the Red Line toward Shady Grove and detrain at Farragut North. Take the K Street exit and walk east (left as you exit the station). McPherson Square is two blocks away.

Full information for download and printing available here. Occupy Congress Essential Info Sheet.

  • T Green

    Thanks for the info; all very useful!
    Looking forward to seeing everyone there

  • Fanshawe

    Thanks for this information. I’d like to RSVP but I don’t… book-face, so I suppose this is as close as I can get.

    I’m heading in from Texas and will be meeting with at least one of my representatives while I’m in DC, so if there have been any further developments on suggestions or training for those meetings, I’m very much looking forward to seeing them posted.

  • Robb

    Wow so excited for the 17th I hope I can get a tent by than!

  • Lucas Thayer

    Arriving at Airport tomorrow night at 1130. Anyone in town with a car? Could I please have a ride from Airport to Freedom Plaza?

    • TM DC

      If you arrive at National Airport (DCA), then you can use the metro (subway) since there is a station within the airport. The metro station closest to Freedom Plaza is Metro Center. Note that the metro closes at midnight on Sunday and Monday. Check

      If you arrive via Dulles Airport, there is a bus that takes you to a metro station:

  • Chard Breed

    I am just so Impressed! A boatload of hard work… I’m a solutions guy @ ur disposal….

  • Shaaanxi

    I will be arriving on Monday Morning! Look forward to working with all of you! Landing in BWI! From Fort Lauderdale!

  • Pingback: Get up, stand up, stand up for your right…refuse!!! resist!!!! occupy!!!!! « Solitary Angel

  • McGee

    Driving all nite from Ann Arbor. Would like to park the van and crash for a few before 9:00 Rally starts. Any suggestions to nod peacefully close to the Mall say from 5-8 or so?

    • Abundanceforyou

      If you arrive that early in the morning, 5AM, you can find lots of places to park and sleep, but you will have to feed the meter occasionally.

  • Tburke088

    Finally focusing the attention on the real scumbags… they write the laws which allow Wall Street to take advantage of us all… throw them all out

  • Laura Watkins

    I was at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Manassas, VA, a few days ago and noticed that tents and sleeping bags were on sale. They had 2-10 person tents and mummy bags. I’m sure other sporting goods stores have similar deals this time of year. I have a tent but haven’t had to set it up at Freedom Plaza yet since there’s been a vacant one open when I’ve stayed there. I doubt that will be the case this week. The granite on the plaza is cold and hard, so bring a mat or lounge chair cushion. Bunny slippers are optional unless you decide to sleep in jail.

  • Erika

    a little group coming from a little town 2 hours from DC! We’ll be here to speak up!

  • Kimlee Davis

    I cant wait to meet everyone and have an amazing time! Occupy Atlanta will be there!

  • Sonia White

    NationofChange will be there in full support.