At least 50 arrests made in fall of Occupy camps - KPTV - FOX 12

At least 50 arrests made in fall of Occupy camps

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV/AP) -

Evicted Occupy Portland supporters gathered at Pioneer Courthouse Square in an ending to a day that started with a face-off against police over control of the streets and went on to include more than 50 arrests at a former encampment.

The group discussed whether they will occupy another space in the city. Some of the locations suggested included Portland bridges, the Waterfront Park and Portland State University campus.

The arrests came Saturday when police moved in on Chapman Square in an attempt to close off the park, which housed half of the demonstrators' five-week-old camp.

A police spokesman says the protesters who remained in the northwest corner of the park "wanted to be arrested" and were warned before police took them into custody.

No one was injured and no pepper spray or less-lethal munitions were used, police say.

Once police forced Occupy Portland protesters out of the park, hundreds blocked the streets surrounding the park.

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Earlier in the day, officers and protesters removed almost every tent and structure from Lownsdale Square before focusing on Chapman Square.

During the overnight hours, thousands of people gathered near the former encampment to watch if police would move in to the parks. A mostly peaceful stalemate with police followed, with tensions peaking when a projectile was thrown at an officer.

The protesters generally remained in the streets near the parks until evening, when Southwest Main Street finally reopened to traffic as the group headed to Pioneer Courthouse Square.

Simpson says police will continue to maintain their presence in the area. More than 300 officers, including those from other agencies, helped handle the crowds after the 12:01 a.m. eviction deadline.

Some officers used nightsticks to push people away from the encampment and used loudspeakers to warn that anyone who resisted risked arrest and "may also be subject to chemical agents and impact weapons."

Demonstrators chanted "we are a peaceful protest."

Police could be seen carrying at least one protester away from the park. Another man was taken away on a stretcher; he was alert and talking to paramedics, and raised a peace sign to fellow protesters, who responded with cheers. There was no immediate word on arrests.

"We were talking about what we were going to do and then they just started hitting people. Seems like a waste of resources to me," protester Mike Swain, 27, told The Associated Press.

Mayor Sam Adams had ordered the camp shut down, citing unhealthy conditions and the encampment's attraction of drug users and thieves.

 

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

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