Taxpayers on Hook for D.C. Protester's Potties

Occupy protest foiled in effort to raise another tent city at Capitol.

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The Capitol installed 17 Don's Johns for today's Occupy protests. They were lined up next to the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial seen in the background.

America's taxpayers, already on the hook for watching over the Occupy movement's three-month seizure of Washington's downtown McPherson Square, are getting stuck with another bill to cover the police protection and port-a-potty rentals at today's Capitol protest.

[See a collection of political cartoons on Occupy Wall Street.]

For today's protest, where several hundred Occupiers toting signs lingered in the muddy grass of the Capitol Grounds, over two dozen U.S. Capitol Police were assigned to ring the lawn, most on foot, some on bikes, and others in 18 cars, buses, and trucks counted by Whispers.

Plus, the government rented 17 bright blue potties from Don's Johns, which were parked across from the Capitol Grounds and in the shadow of the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial.

The Architect of the Capitol's office wouldn't comment on the costs or protection.

But Don's Johns told Whispers that renting 17 potties costs about $2,100.

A miffed Capitol Police officer told us, "I can't believe we're paying for this. But they have no money. They were complaining about parking prices."

[See pictures of Occupy Wall Street protests.]

Officials said that the protesters, some perched in trees, had not caused much of a problem. However, one tried to set up a tent as protesters have done at McPhearson Square, and it was immediately removed by the police. Officials said they are on the lookout for others trying to set up tents.

In addition to simply hanging out, the protesters had set up a medic unit, a photography perch, and some were selling buttons that read "Black Power" and "Occupy Wall Street."

The protesters told other reporters that they were trying to rally their cause against corporate influence in Washington.

The Capitol installed 17 Don's Johns for today's Occupy protests. They were lined up next to the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial seen in the background.

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