PORTLAND - On Tuesday morning, six Occupy Portland activists demanded an apology from Mayor Sam Adams for what they described as militarized police action that led to violence against peaceful protesters last weekend.
A group of marchers gathered at PioneerCourthouse Square at noon, and walked for several blocks through the city, accompanied by police. They stopped at City Hall just after 2 p.m.
The activists read a letter Tuesday morning to Adams that outlined how Occupy Portland had initially agreed to communicate with city officials via its 'City Liaison group that led to what they believe was a betrayal.
Raw video:Activists call for Adams apology
The letter signed by the six pointed out how the two sides worked amicably to solve problems within the encampments at Lownsdale and Chapman Square parks.
The mayor eventually caved in to the demands of the Portland Business Alliance and the Portland Police Association union to return to a status-quo state downtown, those activists said.
Their letter said Adams enabled the full apparatus of police oppression to remove the camps over the weekend, while completely cutting off all communication with the liaision group, the latest in a string of dangerous crackdowns nationwide against the Occupy Wall Street movement.
A somewhat peaceful Saturday degenerated into police use of violence Sunday, with police in riot gear, carrying weapons with live rounds and chemical weapons, they said.
This is not democratic, it is autocratic, the letter said.
The liaision staff said interaction with Adams would resume when he apologizes for the police actions, to those injured and to the Occupy Movement. The activists also want the city to release all raw police bureau video of the weekend.
Adams declined through his spokeswoman to speak directly to the apology request. He said he did not wish to engage in a back-and-forth discussion of the apology, and instead wished to focus on the future of the Occupy movement.
Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson said it's difficult to communicate with Occupy Portland activists, while focusing on a specific outcome.
They aren't decision makers, he said of the six who stood by together Tuesday as the letter was read. And they don't speak for the entire group. And so that's a challenge when you're trying to have a communication with someone who can't make a decision, and who can't speak for a group of people.
A day earlier, Adams and Police Chief Mike Reese Monday thanked city and outside agencies Monday for the largely-peaceful ending to the encampments.
Our work over the past two days I think has gone as peacefully as it possibly could, Adams said.
Since Sunday morning's 12:01 a.m. deadline to clear Lonwnsdale and Chapman Square parks, there were 51 arrests for trespassing, disorderly conduct or resisting arrest. One officer was injured by a projectile. Reese said bottles and an open pocket knife were also thrown at police.
The crowd Monday night discussed upcoming marches and the search for an indoor location for the winter.
I hope this Occupy Wall Street movement will focus and pivot and realize its potential, Adams said, adding that there is a likely expiration date for peoples' enthusiasm.
Related:Occupy Portland evicted
Protesters took to the streets off-and-on through the weekend, ending with a large rally in Pioneer Courthouse Square Sunday night.
Reese said he expected the Occupy events and marches to continue, but that the camps had become unsustainable.
Officers said they did not club or beat anyone with batons and all uses of force were documented, mostly pushing and shoving working police and protesters.
Adams said pepper spray was used at one point to break up a fight between protesters and defended his order to clear the park, saying it was his job to enforce the law and keep the peace.
In addition to $300,000 in overtime in the past month, costs to the city for policing this past weekend were $450,000.
It's been a long five-and-a-half weeks, Reese said. Without (officers) restraint and professionalism, this could've gone in a different direction.
Assistant Chief LarryOdea said their plan was never to go in to the parks right at the deadline, as that would lead to confrontation. He explained how officers were able to remove structures and restrict access, before opening up streets, and communicate with protesters.
City officials erected temporary chain-link fences with barbed wire at the top around the three adjacent downtown parks, choking off access for demonstrators as parks officials cleaned up.
Adams and Reese also thanked several social service agencies that worked at the camps, moving at least 50 people into other appropriate shelters.
More:Parks cleaned up
Protesters planned their next general assembly meeting for Monday night at Pioneer Square.
It's sad, it's sad to me, protester Amanda Murphy said. I stayed here for over 30 days, and I don't think, I don't think we did the damage people think we did.