Discuss as:

Portland, Ore., police dismantle new Occupy camp

Updated 2:00 a.m. EST Sunday

About 50 police officers in riot gear moved in on Occupy Portland, Ore., protesters Saturday night, clearing sidewalks and dismantling defiantly set-up tents after announcing the park was closing early on an emergency basis.

The Associated Press reported that police were detaining protesters with flex cuffs and hauling away those who refused to leave, but no detailed numbers of arrests were available late Saturday.

Protesters regrouped in front of City Hall, while riot police gathered near the building, before beginning a march with heavy police presence after 10 p.m. PST.

Evicted protesters chanted, "Whose streets, our streets." Police reduced their presence as the marchers wandered through downtown streets.  

Before their sweep, officers warned that anyone who wouldn’t leave the park would be arrested, Oregonlive.com reported.

Livestream video showed lines of officers in riot gear confronting protesters.

Demonstarators had gathered in a portion of the South Park blocks, near the Portland Art Museum, NBC station KGW said.

Demonstrators said they would stay through the winter and had no plans to leave. Police, however, had warned that overnight stays at parks wouldn't be allowed.

The park where the demonstrators set up tents was scheduled to close at 9 p.m., but police closed it a half-hour early after protesters confronted park workers and prevented them from carrying out their job of enforcing park codes, police said.

Authorities last month evicted demonstrators who had camped in two downtown parks for more than a month.


Death in Denton, Texas
Officers with the University of North Texas Police Department are trying to determine the identity of a man found in an empty area of the Occupy Denton campsite, NBC Dallas Fort Worth reported Saturday. Police told the NBC station that the deceased is a white male and was found inside one of the tents.

Police do not suspect foul play in the death, NBC Dallas-Forth Worth reported.

The campsite is still operating, but some campers could be seen packing up and leaving late Saturday night.

UNT senior and Occupy Denton protester Garrett Graham said the group was in mourning.

"This is a family and this is a community here," Graham said. "We're dealing with this loss the way a family does -- lots of condolences, a lot of emotion and a lot of love."

Assault silence in Hartford, Conn.
A group at the Occupy Hartford campsite, including the victim, tried to keep a sex assault quiet, police told NBC Connecticut. Police received an anonymous call Thursday reporting the sex assault at the Occupy Hartford site in Turning Point Park on Broad Street.

Investigating officers located the victim, a woman who told them a man aggressively kissed her neck and groped her breasts against her wishes. Several others at the campsite intervened and the suspect ran off, she told police.

When asked why no one from Occupy Hartford, including the victim, reported the sex assault to police, they told officers they did not want to draw any negative attention to their cause.

Assembly in Nashville, Tenn.
Dozens of Occupy protesters in Nashville have been joined by groups from around the state for a weekend assembly, NBC station WSMV reported.

Groups from Chattanooga, Clarksville and Memphis have set up teach-in's on more than a dozen topics, from Tennessee's new voter ID law, community organizing and the privately run prison system to constitutional law and the history of the gay-rights movement.

OccupyTennessee will have three marches and a general assembly for statewide decision making each day, with the conference ending Sunday.

Deadline in Albany, NY
City officials losing their patience with Occupy Albany protesters sent them a letter ordering all-night camping at Academy Park to end Dec. 22 at the latest, NBC station WNYT reported.

In that directive, the city cites "serious health and safety" code violations as the reason for ordering occupying campers to pull up stakes in twenty days.

The bright red "cease and desist" orders attached to the outside of every tent at Academy Park, followed an inspection by the Albany Fire Department and signals a drastic change in the city's attitude toward protesters.

"This did come by surprise," said Kathy Manley, an attorney for the Occupy Albany movement. "I don't know exactly what they're thinking. I don't know how amenable they are to negotiating."

What the city wants now is remediation of health and safety violations -- and they want it by Dec. 6.

Vacating in New Orleans
A day after New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu told Occupy NOLA protesters they will no longer be allowed to stay overnight in Duncan Plaza, many of those who have been occupying the park for the past two months appeared to have left, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

About 25 percent of the protesters were gone from Duncan Plaza by Saturday evening and many others indicated they would leave soon, protesters told the newspaper. However, they said, others planned to stay and resist any attempt to clear the park.

Protesters return in Los Angeles
One person was arrested Saturday in Los Angeles when Occupy protesters organized a large downtown march that included demonstrators arrested last week during a police sweep of their encampment outside City Hall, The Los Angeles Times reported. About 100 police officers and private security guards trailed the marchers, according to news reports cited by the Times.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.