Hundreds marched in Washington on Friday to protest U.S. wars and massive military spending as well as a proposed pipeline to carry tar-sands oil from Canada to Texas.

Participants in the Occupy DC initiative set out from their base at Freedom Plaza, near the White House, to join up at the State Department with opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Anti-war groups began planning months ago for an Arab Spring style occupation in Washington to demand an end to U.S. military action in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia and Yemen.

The effort adopted the Occupy DC theme in a nod to the Occupy Wall Street protests that got under way three weeks ago in New York's financial district.

One of the protesters in Freedom Plaza, postal worker David Welsh, told Efe he was moved to travel all the way from San Francisco for the event by cuts in public spending that "are hurting the working class."

He added, however, that people with a wide variety of concerns were finding "the capacity to generate unity within the multiple points of view."

Another protester, Maryland resident Ian Kennedy, said that though he recently lost his job and was forced to move back in with his parents, unhappiness with the economy was not what prompted him to join Occupy DC.

"My motivation is pure and simple: I am against the wars," he said. "Everyone has his or her reasons for being here."