Police move in on Portland protestersPORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Several hundred protesters, some wearing goggles and gas masks, marched past authorities in a downtown street Sunday, hours after riot police drove Occupy Portland demonstrators out of a pair of weeks-old encampments in nearby parks.
By: Associated Press, The Jamestown Sun
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Several hundred protesters, some wearing goggles and gas masks, marched past authorities in a downtown street Sunday, hours after riot police drove Occupy Portland demonstrators out of a pair of weeks-old encampments in nearby parks.
Police moved in shortly before noon and drove protesters into the street after dozens remained in the camp in defiance of city officials. Mayor Sam Adams had ordered that the camp shut down Saturday at midnight, citing unhealthy conditions and the encampment’s attraction of drug users and thieves.
More than 50 protesters were arrested in the afternoon police action, said Portland police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson on KGW-TV.
The number of demonstrators began to swell following the raid and increased throughout the afternoon. By early evening, hundreds of officers brandishing nightsticks stood shoulder-to-shoulder to hold the protesters back. Authorities retreated as protesters broke the standoff by marching through the streets.
In the hours after the midnight eviction deadline, the anti-Wall Street protesters and their supporters had flooded the park area even as authorities in other cities across the nation stepped up pressure against demonstrators, arresting dozens of people.
At one point overnight, the Portland crowd swelled to thousands. As dawn arrived, riot police had retreated and most of the crowds had gone home, but protesters who have been at the two parks since Oct. 6 were still there, prompting one organizer to declare the night a victory for the movement.
“We stood up to state power,” Jim Oliver told The Associated Press.