Occupy camps gone after 2 weekend standoffs

Occupy camps gone after 2 weekend standoffs

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by KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on November 11, 2011 at 9:33 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 14 at 3:18 PM

PORTLAND -- Fences surrounded three downtown parks and only a few dozen Occupy Portland protesters maintained a presence early Monday morning as movement organizers announced plans for an evening strategy meeting at Pioneer Square.

A group of about a dozen demonstrators marched through downtown Portland early Monday after staying up all night and marching around the previously occupied parks.

Timeline: Occupy Portland

Portland Police Chief Mike Reese announced a 2:15 press conference to discuss the Occupy Portland eviction.  The press conference will be streamed live on kgw.com and KGW News mobile.

Over the weekend, police dressed in riot gear conducted a methodical mission to remove the Occupy Portland encampments at Lownsdale Park, Chapman Square and Terry Schrunk Plaza after the Saturday midnight eviction notice passed.

Photos: Main St. face-off between police, protesters

By late Sunday night, the camps were gone, the parks were surrounded by fences and most of the protesters had left; some to a home on Portland's eastside, some camping on the Eastbank Esplanade, and some to a downtown church.

Police said 51 protesters were arrested over the weekend on charges ranging from trespassing and interfering with a police officer to disorderly conduct and harassment.

The removal process may have been methodical, but it was not without some tense moments.

Around 2 a.m. Saturday night, one officer was injured by a projectile during a standoff on Main Street between police and thousands of protesters. The protesters delivered the suspect to police themselves, shoving him out of their crowd and into the police line.

Video/Story: Officer hurt, protester arrested

That standoff ended around 6:30 a.m. when officers on loudspeakers warned that everyone must clear out, or there would be arrests.  Protesters backed up and returned to the parks and sidewalks. About 20 minutes later, police backed off, too and demonstrators dismantled barricades.

Then, protesters and police worked together to clear the camping equipment and trash out of Lownsdale Park and Chapman Square.

More: Protesters & police clean up parks

Sunday appeared calm - almost as if the Occupy movement had fizzled out. But then a small group of protesters began gathering support in front of Chapman Square and police once again lined up along Main Street in riot gear. The crowd quickly grew as more protesters arrived and onlookers gathered close, too.

Some of the demonstrators locked arms and refused to move and police made arrests.  Protesters complained that the officers pushed them and hit them with their batons unnecessarily.

 

Watch Youtube video of police at Chapman Square

Raw: Police in riot gear clear out Chapman Square

“Some of those folks refused to move and we took them into custody," Reese said. “Some folks refused to leave the corner. We had to push them back away, but it was very minimal force.”

Then, shortly before 5 p.m. on Sunday, police announced over a public address system that SW Main St. would be reopened to traffic, and anyone blocking the street could be arrested. At least one person was taken into custody, and vehicles began moving on the street again at 5 p.m.

The remainder of the protesters marched to Pioneer Square, where they held a General Assembly before dispersing for the night.

Mayor pleased with eviction enforcements

Mayor Sam Adams spoke to reporters over the weekend. He said the city was trying to ensure that the parks could be cleared without violence and he was pleased with how the mission was going.

"I think that the surprise enforcements that we've seen around the country have not been consistent with the values of the people of Portland. They have been dangerous, unnecessarily so, and in the end have been very, very costly because of the number of people injured," Adams said.

He said protesters got advance notice of the police action, too. 

More: Mayor gives 'Occupy' campers eviction notice

Last Thursday, Mayor Adams and Police Chief Mike Reese said it was necessary to clear protesters out of downtown Portland parks by 12:01 a.m. Sunday in order for the city to make repairs, clean up and ensure the safety of everyone involved.

 

After more than a month of camping, some demonstrators began packing up while others vowed to defy the eviction order.

Live stream from Occupy Portland

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