An Occupy Portland protest over the weekend turned into a confrontation with police as officers used pepper spray to control the crowd.
The clash happened near the Lloyd Center mall in northeast Portland, where police said demonstrators pushed against them with wooden shields, forcing officers to use pepper spray.
The Anti-Austerity rally at Holladay Park drew several hundred people, but it turned into a march through the streets of northeast Portland. Police said the group did not have a permit to march and the protesters were breaking the law.
At least one person was arrested and about 24 people were pepper-sprayed.
"The crowd tried to go down this one street and the cops were blocking them from going," said one protester who did not want her name used in the story. "They were kind of pushing up against the cops and then the cops took the pepper spray and sprayed all over the heads of everybody."
After the march, protesters returned to the park where they burned voter ballots to protest the upcoming election. Organizers said they believe the election is controlled by wealth and therefore they said democracy in the United States is an illusion.
"We want people to think about the kind of world they want to live in," said protester Judith Lienhard.
Many protesters also held signs condemning school budget cuts and school closures.
"I'm here for all of us because this is not the kind of world where we want to live in," said Lienhard. "Where all of our services get hollowed out, where there is more and more kids in our classrooms. There's less and less learning taking place."
Copyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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