Occupy Portland crosses to city's east side during march - KPTV - FOX 12

Occupy Portland crosses to city's east side during march

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Officers say the tone of Wednesday evening's Occupy Portland march that traversed two bridges was more confrontational with police than previous demonstrations.

On Thursday, authorities also announced such unplanned, large-scale Occupy Portland marches are jeopardizing the public's and officers' safety.

Hundreds of people filled the streets in downtown Portland after a 4:30 p.m. rally in support of Occupy Oakland. The group then crossed onto the Hawthorne Bridge, closing it to traffic.

SLIDESHOW: Protesters march across bridge

Protestors were prepared to be arrested and cited as they made their way across the bridge.  Before stepping onto the Hawthorne Bridge, one marcher instructed the crowd, "There is a high risk of arrest if you take the bridge."

After reaching the east side, the protesters walked down Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard before  turning west onto the Burnside Bridge.

The marchers did not have a permit and appeared to make up their route as they went along, stopping at various points to discuss where to go next.  At one point, marchers prepared to cross the Morrison Bridge, but police convinced them to use another bridge because of  construction.

The group then returned to their encampment on the west side.

Although there were many peaceful protesters, police reported the group marched against traffic and provoked drivers.

One person was arrested after the march.

Police say 30-year-old David Andrew Burgess pushed an officer into the side of a TriMet bus and ran off.  Burgess faces charges of harassment, disorderly conduct, assaulting a public safety officer and interfering with a public safety officer.

Portland Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson said officers use discretion when dealing with unpermitted protests.

"Swooping in to arrest 100, 150 people in the street is a massive undertaking," he said.

Officers from three precincts were pulled from their patrol duties to help monitor the unplanned march, police say.

The demonstration was sparked by the injury of a U.S. Marine veteran at a California protest.

Protesters are also using Scott Olsen's injury as a rallying point to bring attention to police violence in Portland.

The Portland Police Bureau is the subject of an ongoing civil rights investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice involving its treatment of the city's black and mentally-ill populations.

Olsen was injured when police moved in on an Oakland, CA protest last week.

In Oakland, protests turned ugly overnight and several arrests were made.

Copyright 2011 KPTV. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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