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For the second time ever, here's a look at some of the most striking, funny, or just plain unusual stories we saw on iReport this week.
On Wednesday, protesters swarmed Washington, D.C.'s K Street, home to many powerful political lobbying firms -- a frequent target of criticism in the Occupy Wall Street movement. Armando Gallardo was there when it all went down: “The protesters, defying rain, sat down on 14th and K, blocking traffic and a few others on 13th and K laid on the floor,” he said. “Soon enough the police came with horses, and a bigger than expected police force. After three warnings regarding blocking a highway violation, the police started arresting the protesters.”
Usually, the most outrageous thing you expect to find in a Christmas tree is, say, a tacky beer mug ornament that holds sentimental value for one of your loved ones. Casey Baine's family found a slithering surprise nestled in the needles of their coniferous evergreen: A snake! “The snake, whose name is Tinsel, now appropriately lives in the woods,” she said.
Janna Lynn Imel has witnessed racism from her friends, family and community for being a white woman in an interracial relationship with a black man. She shared this powerful video explaining her thoughts and struggles with the discrimination she faces: “I made this video in hopes of showing people that their attitudes toward my boyfriend and I are not right,” she said. “Racism is not dead, as many people believe. It still exists in our lives everyday and it's time that more people take a stand.”
Janna's iReport sparked a fascinating conversation in the comments section -- join in on the discussion and weigh in with your thoughts.
In the aftermath of the hotly contested Russian elections, Irina Kruchkova witnessed a massive anti-Putin protest on December 6 in Moscow's Triumfalnaya Square. “We have youngsters appearing on the protests to provoke aggressive reaction amidst the crowd. These poor young boys and girls do not really comprehend what is happening and are only capable to repeat what they are told to say. It is the first moment of my video that shows kids with a leader some holding their teddy bears as they shout out 'Putin, Medvedev, Russia,’” she said.
Irina was interviewed on CNN International's Connect the World program -- Check it out!
Longtime iReporter Luis Leal has been visiting Key West since the '80s, and she always makes sure to check out the amazing performing cats in Mallory Square. Feline impresario Dominique Le Fort has trained housecats to do all kinds of stunts, like jumping through a fiery hoop.
Think you have a story to share? Check out our assignment desk for ideas, or submit your own view of the news.