Ore. protesters arrested in affluent district

Protesters affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement march across the Burnside Bridge as part of several activities planned today in Portland, Ore., Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011. AP Photo/Don Ryan

PORTLAND, Ore. - Police arrested about 30 anti-Wall Street protesters in Portland early Sunday, dragging and carrying them to waiting vans, after they refused to leave a park in an affluent district.

The arrests came after protesters from the Occupy Portland movement marched to the Pearl District, with some saying they viewed its residents as part of the wealthy demographic they're protesting.

The showdown came in the shadow of high-rise condos, with residents watching the events from their balconies.

CBS Affiliate KOIN reported that about 50 protesters decided to demonstrate in the Pearl District partly as a sign of solidarity with the Occupy Oakland protesters.

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On Saturday night dozens of demonstrators gathered in Jamison Square to defy the midnight curfew.

Shortly after midnight police on horseback, on bicycles and on foot who had been at the perimeter of the park began moving closer to the group of protesters. Police eventually pushed the supporters off.

As police moved in around 2 a.m. most of the protesters backed off, but a core group of 27-30 sat in a circle in the park and awaited arrest.

The demonstrators who had decided to risk arrest were seated on the ground. They were encircled by other protesters who walked around them chanting "Whose Park? Our Park!" and "Make No Arrests."

Protesters react as police move in for arrests in Portland, Ore., early Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011.
AP Photo/Don Ryan

An Associated Press photographer said most of the protesters went limp and police carried or dragged them away. There was no violence during the arrests, which took about 90 minutes.

The protesters — all appearing to be in their 20s and 30s, with many were wearing Halloween-style face paint — were handcuffed before they were placed in police vans and driven off.

"We are the 99 percent," one arrestee chanted.

The crowd of supporters thinned out around 3:30 a.m. as the last arrests were made.

Police said they arrested more than two dozen people on charges that included criminal trespassing, interfering with a police officer, and disorderly conduct.

The decision by Occupy Portland to defy the curfew came despite an announcement earlier this week by Portland Mayor Sam Adams that protesters would not be allowed to set up camp in any city park other than Lownsdale and Chapman. City officials said the protesters are allowed to protest in the park, but cannot spend the night there.

Police have allowed the demonstrators to remain in Chapman and Lownsdale Parks since Oct. 6 despite policies outlawing camping. The parks are surrounded by office buildings, mostly for the government.

Some protesters said they want to camp in the Pearl District because they view its residents as part of the wealthy demographic they're protesting. Commissioner Randy Leonard said it would be inappropriate to expand the demonstration into a neighborhood park.

"We — the entire city council — are your friends... at present," Leonard wrote. "However, our friendship and support are now being unreasonably tested by the decision to occupy Jamison Square."

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