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Entries in Occupy Portland (3)

Monday
Nov142011

Occupy Crackdown: Beginning of the End for Protests?

KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) -- The tension is mounting outside Oakland's City Hall after police issued three eviction notices to anti-Wall Street protesters over the weekend, telling demonstrators they do not have the right to camp overnight.

Still, 150 tents remained Sunday in Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Though authorities have not said when or if they plan to raid the encampment, protesters are bracing for a possible crackdown.

Oakland police issued similar warnings to Occupy Oakland before raiding the campsite on Oct. 25.  More than 80 protesters were arrested and the clashes turned violent.  Police used tear gas and bean bags, seriously injuring an Iraq war veteran in the process.  He was reportedly released from the hospital, but his friends say he still has trouble speaking.

But the movement that garnered support around the country is now facing backlash from city governments nationwide.  Police in many cities say they have run out of patience, and officials are raising concerns about what they call unsanitary conditions and a growing number of crimes at some camps.

Over the weekend in Philadelphia, police arrested a man after a woman was dragged into a tent and sexually assaulted.  At Occupy Albany, N.Y., police arrested dozens of campers for defying a curfew.  And in Salt Lake City, police arrested 19 people for refusing to leave a park one day after a man was found dead in his tent.

The largest clashes over the weekend occurred Saturday overnight in Portland, Ore., where there was a heated face-off between officers in riot gear and thousands of demonstrators.  Protesters built barricades with wood debris and old furniture to block streets.  Most finally agreed to leave, but police pushed out a few hundred stragglers late Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, at Occupy San Francisco, police say two demonstrators used a sharp object to attack two officers during a march.

In Oakland, Mayor Jean Quan released a statement saying, "While the camping must end, the movement continues."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov132011

Occupy Portland: 'We Declared Victory, Then We Went Home'

Natalie Behring/Getty Images(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- Occupy Portland demonstrators claimed victory Sunday after defying a midnight deadline to leave their downtown encampment at midnight, but then hours later peacefully followed police orders to move out of at least one of the two parks they had called home for 38 days.

Police began clearing tarps and debris after 8 a.m. Sunday after telling protesters who were still in Chapman and Lownsdale Squares that the "the park is now closed" and that they had to leave, ABC station KATU-TV in Portland reported.

Many protesters obeyed the order, and police let them gather their belongings, KATU reported.

After the protesters left, police went in and started taking down tents that were left behind and gathering up garbage and whatever else was left behind.

Madison Dines, 25, told The Oregonian that after the midnight celebration, there weren't enough demonstrators left to resist the police.

"We don't have enough physical bodies to stop the police from what they are doing," he said. "We all declared victory and went home, but the reality is we needed to be here."

Thousands of sympathizers of Occupy Portland had showed up before dawn, briefly halting downtown traffic, to support the protesters.

Occupy Portland's Facebook page lists an e-mail address for protesters wanting advice from the National Lawyers Guild—suggesting the group was resolved to stay put at a time when officials are voicing concern about the safety and health of Occupy encampments in several cities around the country.

Portland Mayor Sam Adams said Sunday morning that the protesters should clear the park, but the city has no timetable for when it will be done. He ruled out the kind of "surprise" actions police have carried out in some other cities, which have resulted in violent clashes between police and demonstrators.

"The surprise enforcements that we've seen around the country have been not consistent with the values of the people of Portland," he said in an early morning appearance at the park Sunday.

He said want to balance free speech and public safety, ABC affiliate KATU-TV in Portland reported.

He avoided blaming the demonstrators for creating a situation where he felt he had to set a deadline for them to leave the downtown encampment, but said he had to because of "a change in circumstances."

"I don't fault anyone in particular; it's a change of circumstances that was really out of the control of any one person or group of people," he said, according to KATU. "I was very clear [from the beginning of the protest] that behavior mattered and success mattered."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov132011

Occupy Portland Protesters Stay Past Deadline, Cops in Riot Gear

Natalie Behring/Getty Images(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- Occupy Portland protestors stayed past the 12:01 a.m. Sunday deadline and continued to demonstrate early Sunday morning as police in riot gear maintained the crowd of an estimated 3,000 protestors and supporters.

At least one arrest has been made after a protestor threw what appeared to be a lit firecracker at an officer, injuring him, according to Portland Police.

Police monitored the situation but did not make any attempt to move in, despite that the crowd refused to dissipate.

In other Occupy movements across the country, 18 people were arrested in Salt Lake City’s Pioneer Park on Saturday night. In Denver, 17 people were arrested Saturday night in the city’s Civic Center Park. In San Francisco, two police officers were attacked with sharp objects thrown at them by protesters on Saturday.

The Occupy Wall Street movement began Sept. 17 in New York City, and continues to gain momentum.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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