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    Police move in on Portland park, protesters remain

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Several hundred protesters, some wearing goggles and gas masks, marched past authorities in a downtown street Sunday, hours after riot police forced 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 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 police action, but officers did not use tear gas, rubber bullets or other so-called non-lethal weapons, police said.

    After the police raid, the number of demonstrators swelled throughout the afternoon. By early evening, dozens of officers brandishing nightsticks stood shoulder-to-shoulder to hold the protesters back. Authorities retreated and protesters broke the standoff by marching through the streets.

    Demonstrators regrouped several blocks away, where they broke into small groups to discuss their future. Some advocated occupying foreclosed homes, others wanted to move onto the Portland State University campus or to the shores of the Willamette River.

    The Oregonian reported that many spent hours trying to figure out where protesters without homes could stay. The gathering began to thin out around 8 p.m. KATU said that shortly before 10 p.m., about two dozen demonstrators marched back to area of the encampment, but there was no word of any police resistance.

    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.

    It didn't last. Police moved in later as demonstrators held a midday "general assembly" meeting to discuss their next moves. An officer on a loudspeaker warned that anyone who resisted risked arrest and "may also be subject to chemical agents and impact weapons." Demonstrators chanted "we are a peaceful protest."

    "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 AP.

    One 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.

    Choya Adkison, 30, said police moved in after giving demonstrators a false sense of calm. They thought they had time to rest, relax and regroup, she said

    "Camp was completely vulnerable, completely defenseless" when police moved in, she said. "I'm disappointed that they created a sense of trust by walking away and then completely trampled it."

    City officials erected temporary chain-link fences with barbed wire at the top around three adjacent downtown parks, choking off access for demonstrators as parks officials cleaned up.

    Police Chief Mike Reese told KGW-TV it was his plan to take the parks in a peaceful manner and that's what happened.

    "Our officers have performed exceptionally well," he said.

    Even ahead of the police raid, the camp was a shadow of what it had been before Saturday. A large segment of campers were homeless people drawn to the free food and shelter offered by Occupy Portland. They are gone, after outreach workers went through the camp to help them find shelter elsewhere.

    And as the Saturday midnight eviction deadline neared, protesters themselves began dismantling tents.

    Around 4 a.m., dozens of police formed a line across from demonstrators who had poured into the street. Protesters facing them appeared to be in festive spirits with some banging on drums and plastic pails, another clanging a cowbell while others danced in the streets as a man juggled nearby.

    On Sunday at an impromptu news conference, the mayor defended his order to clear the park, saying it is his job to enforce the law and keep the peace. "This is not a game," Adams said.

    Officials said that one officer suffered minor injuries when he was hit by some kind of projectile in the leg. Police had prepared for a possible clash, warning that dozens of anarchists may be planning a confrontation with authorities. Officers seized pieces of cement blocks Friday, saying they were told some demonstrators had plans to use them as weapons against police. They said they believe some demonstrators were building shields and trying to collect gas masks.

    And police seized incendiary devices, gas masks and marijuana on Sunday after stopping three men for speeding on Interstate 5 south of Portland. The men told police they had left Occupy Portland an hour earlier and were carrying the equipment in anticipation of a confrontation with authorities, the Marion County Sheriff's Office said.

    Meanwhile in Oakland, Calif., friends confirmed Sunday that Scott Olsen, the Iraq War veteran who suffered a serious head injury during a police raid on the Occupy Oakland encampment, has been released from the hospital. Olsen suffered a skull fracture during tear-gas filled clashes between police and demonstrators on Oct. 25.

    Dottie Guy of Iraq Veterans Against the War said Sunday Olsen was released last week. He can now read and write, but still has trouble talking, she added.

    "Considering what happened to him he's doing well," Guy said. "He does have a brain injury so there will be some kind of rehab and physical therapy needed."

    Occupy Wall Street supporters nationwide have rallied around Olsen's plight.

    Also Sunday, for the third time in three days, Oakland city officials warned protesters that they do not have the right to camp in the plaza in front of City Hall and face immediate arrest. Police did not respond to requests for comment on whether officers were preparing to forcibly clear the camp.

    The eviction notices come as officials across the country urged an end to similar gatherings in the wake of three deaths in different cities, including two by gunfire. Demands for Oakland protesters to pack up increased after a man was shot and killed Thursday near the encampment site.

    Police Sunday night identified the slain man as 25-year-old Kayode Ola Foster of Oakland, saying his family confirmed he had been staying at the plaza.

    Police officer Johnna Watson said witnesses have told police that one of two suspects in the shooting had also been a frequent resident at the plaza. The suspects are being sought and their names haven't been released.

    Investigators suspect that the shooting resulted from a fight between two groups of men.

    Protesters had said earlier that there was no connection between the shooting and the camp.

    The shooting occurred the same day a 35-year-old military veteran apparently committed suicide in a tent at a Burlington, Vt., Occupy encampment. Police said a preliminary investigation showed the veteran fatally shot himself in the head. They said the death raised questions about whether the protest would be allowed to continue.

    In other cities over the weekend:

    — In Salt Lake City, police arrested 19 people Saturday when protesters refused to leave a park a day after a man as found dead inside his tent at the encampment. The arrests came after police moved into the park early in the evening where protesters had been ordered to leave by the end of the day. About 150 people had been living in the camp there for weeks.

    — In Albany, N.Y., police arrested 24 Occupy Albany protesters after they defied an 11 p.m. curfew in a state-owned park. State police officials hauled away the protesters after warning them with megaphones that they were breaking the law in Lafayette Park. They were charged with trespassing.

    — In Denver, authorities forced protesters to leave a downtown encampment and arrested four people for interfering with officers who removed illegally pitched tents, said police spokesman Sonny Jackson.

    — In San Francisco, violence marked the protest Saturday where police said two demonstrators attacked two police officers in separate incidents during a march. Police spokesman Carlos Manfredi said a protester slashed an officer's hand with a pen knife while another protester shoved an officer, causing facial cuts. He said neither officer was seriously hurt, and the assailants couldn't be located.


    Associated Press writers Terry Collins in Oakland, Josh Loftin in Salt Lake City, Jim Anderson in Denver and Andrew Dalton in Los Angeles contributed to this report.


    • Nick G 6 hours ago
      Want to fix the legislative branch,,,,,,we should pay them $45,000 a year,,,,that is approximately what the average American makes. The $174,000.00 salary of a US Senator already puts them in a form of class welfare,,,,they have no clue as to what an life as an average American is
    • Ben Yesterday
      What's being protested is not capitalism nor is it the right to be wealthy. What's being protested is a corruption of capitalism wherein the profits are privatized and the bad debt and failure are put on the backs of those trying to work their way up the ladder. The system is rigged when government (taxpayer) money is used to bail out corporations (stockholders) for bad investment decisions.

      If you want to cut taxes, I have no objection, nor do most people, I think. Giving money to politicians is about as responsible as giving an Uzi to a monkey. But USE THE TAX MONEY TO BENEFIT THE PEOPLE WHO PAY IT.

      Don't want to tax corporations on the theory that they create jobs? Okay with me, for the same Monkey/Uzi reasons. Even though it's a statistical fact that most jobs in this country are created by SMALL business and that, despite record profits, corporations are NOT creating jobs but increasing dividends and bonus payouts to management. But if they don't pay taxes...then they don't get to VOTE. They just aren't entitled to the benefits of personhood without the responsibilities of personhood.

      I think there is common ground here, but the game of divide and conquer and the
      spouting of platitudes and "the big lie"(s) is easier and seems to be winning the day.
    • wc  •  Clinton, United States  •  Yesterday
      Any goverment Big enough to give you everything you want is Big enough to take everything you have.
    • James  •  Park Forest, United States  •  19 hours ago
      DID ANYONE WATCH 60 MIN, ON SUNDAY NIGHT? It was the grand awaking for me to find out,that our congress are not bound to the financial laws of this country. Now I know why the people that go there,never want to leave? Thay make more money in insider trading than WALL STREET.
    • Right Side Only Yesterday
      The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
    • Maj.Pain Yesterday
      Portland is one of the most liberal cities in America. ABC reported that OWS is a liberal movement comparable to the Tea Party? Something's definately not right here!
    • Dallylawnman  •  Tucker, United States  •  Yesterday
      Nancy Pelosi said we support you OWS,And yes she does.
    • Right Side Only Yesterday
      A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
    • Bobby Gunton Yesterday
      When the 99% start camping out in front of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, then I'll start listening.
    • Jack  •  Peoria, United States  •  5 hours ago
      PLEASE, Let me understand this correctly! We can use the police to kick LEGAL AMERICANS out of a place but it is unconstitutional to do it to illegal aliens???
    • football fan  •  Collinsville, United States  •  10 hours ago
      why is it okay to remove protesters and its NOT ok to stop the illegal immigrants from crossing our southern border?
    • Biggreyoldman  •  Chatham, United States  •  16 hours ago
      As most Americans I was against the bailouts of Wall Street. Now these people are protesting 3 years too late by occuping some parks, So far they have accomplised nothing and most likely never will. First time I ever saw a protest without any set goals.
    • Orange Man 11 hours ago
      M says: Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

      I says: These OWSer have a right to dissent. They do not have a right to make themselves a PITA to everyone trying to make a living.
    • Abear Yesterday
      President Obama is trying to harness public rage against Wall Street while bankers are whining about new financial regulations—but the inconvenient truth for both sides is that Wall Street has profited big-time during Obama's presidency. In fact banks are larger today than when Obama won the White House - hahahahahha
    • Glenna  •  Arlington, United States  •  16 hours ago
      just look at all the trash they left!!!! someone will get the jobs. that will have to clean up. nasty
    • Thomas 9 hours ago
      Look at all of the trash in this picture.
    • N. M. 23 hours ago
      Sounds more like overpopulation and rents being too high. And more and more people and the young adults are finding out what their inadequate upbringings did for them. Consider all the adult entertainment websites there are on the internet. Young people have been becoming more and more rotten with every generation these days. And I'm in my thirties saying that. But I was raised around a born-again Christian influence. Regard Jesus MOST highly.
    • missy  •  Portland, United States  •  Yesterday
      Right now there is a huge protest down town Portland. I don't see it on yahoo, but it's big. Bus load of police just arrived...
    • John  •  Atlanta, United States  •  Yesterday
      Saul Alinsky would be very proud of their boy. Read Rules for Radicals online. Obama taught it for years and used it . It is a handbook for Community Organizers for the overturn of America.
    • Anton  •  Hayward, United States  •  Yesterday
      where is our President on this issue?
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    • OAKLAND, Calif (Reuters) - Police forcibly evicted protesters from an anti-Wall Street camp in downtown Oakland on Monday, setting the stage for a possible showdown with demonstrators who later marched in the street and vowed to dig in.

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