Demonstrators Close National Air and Space Museum

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  • On Saturday, October 8, 2011, the National Air and Space Museum, on the National Mall, closed its doors shortly after 3 PM, when approximately 100 to 200 demonstrators attempted to enter the building. A NASM security guard refused to admit the demonstrators because of their signs, the group apparently restrained the guard. Another guard arrived and used pepper spray on one of the demonstrators, who then shortly dispersed. At least one person was arrested and later released after paying a fine. The anti-war group arrived at the Museum to protest the exhibit "Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicles."
  • The demonstrators at the Smithsonian have ties to the October 2011 Stop the Machine demonstration and the Occupy D.C. movement, who began protesting in Washington in early October 2011. The groups came to D.C. to hold marches and demonstrations about the United States and World economic crisis and their discontent with the state of the federal government.
  • The museum re-opens on Sunday, October 9, 2011.


  • National Air and Space Museum
  • Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) (Exhibition) NASM


Chronology of Smithsonian History


Jessica Gresko, "Standoff with protesters closes Washington museum," Associated Press, Saturday, October 8, 2011.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


October 8, 2011


  • Closings
  • Protests
  • Exhibitions
  • Demonstrations
  • Crowds
  • Protest


  • Mall, The (Washington, D.C.)
  • Washington (D.C.)

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