PORTLAND Police in riot gear were called in to keep marchers on the sidewalks as Portland State University students marched in solidarity with the Occupy Portland movement Wednesday.
Police arrested 32-year-old John Saunders for interfering with police. Mounted patrol officers were called in as protesters clashed with police outside of the City of Portland building at SW 5th Avenue and SW Madison Street.
A daycare inside the building was put on lockdown during the scuffle.
The demonstrators chanted, Shame on you, as the extra officers arrived.
We were literally just trying to cross the street and get to City Hall and all of a sudden, the cops assembled right in front of us and started pushing us and telling us that we cannot cross the sidewalk, said protester Pearce Whitehead, a PSU student.
The route changed after the altercation, but the march ended in its planned location, at Urban Plaza on SW 5th Avenue and SW Montgomery Street. A General Assembly meeting was held to discuss future plans for the movement.
Police meanwhile were bracing for several big events Thursday, starting with a planned march and demonstration on the east side of the Steel Bridge that could impact the morning commute.
Organizers said Occupy Portland State was planned to draw attention to problems with the higher education system. They said they were concerned with increases in student tuition, a drop in public funding and the rising tide of student debt.
Protesters began gathering on campus just after noon and then started the march less than an hour later, shouting, Whose streets? Our streets.