More than 50 people were arrested while clearing out and blocking off the encampments of the Occupy movement. Recently encampments emerged in several cities all over the country. Sympathy for the occupy Wall Street movement that began in New York this September resulted mainly in eviction notice and subsequent camp removal and fencing them off. The major part of protesters left while some nevertheless decided to stay.
Police states that the Portland Bureau cleared Chapman and Lownsdale Square parks. Those who refused to leave or saying frankly preferred to be arrested left the police no choice – 50 arrests as a result. Luckily no injuries were reported. Demonstrators regrouped and blocked traffic. But just as darkness fell the protesters quit the streets.
The core of the movement went further to the downtown square to discuss next moves. The authorities’ actions required help of approximately 300 officers versus around 1000 people as part of the movement.
As the afternoon confrontation grew, the police promised to use impact weapons and chemicals against them. But protesters claimed it was no riot and suggested the police to take off the riot gear. In the mean time officials moved to dismantle similar camp in Salt Lake City, Utah. In Denver the police removed illegally placed cooking grills, tents and mattresses from public sidewalk on Saturday. In Denver police arrested 17 people.
Portland Mayor Sam Adams linked camps to the increase in crime and drug overdoses mentioning that some arsonist used a camp to hide his efforts.
In order to get the kind of reforms the people demand, the Occupy movement needs to evolve beyond simple encampment.
In Salt Lake City the camp’s dismantling resulted in 15 people arrested on Saturday.
In Oakland, California, on Sunday city hall issued third eviction notice warning protesters about immediate arrest if they continue to camp in parks.
In St. Louis, Mayor Francis Slay also warned the campers but offered to continue talks about finding another place for protesting.