Anti-Wall Street protesters and their supporters flooded a city park area in Portland early Sunday in defiance of an eviction order, and authorities elsewhere stepped up pressure against the demonstrators, arresting nearly two dozen.
Crowds converged on two adjacent downtown Portland parks where protesters are camped after city officials set a midnight Saturday deadline to disperse.
But hours later, the protesters were still there, backed by many supporters who spilled out into the streets next to camp, tying up traffic. They obeyed police orders to clear the street early Sunday.
At one point the numbers swelled to thousands but then started to thin in the early morning hours.
Organizers said they hope enough people will join them to make it difficult if not impossible for police to carry through on any eviction.
“Occupy the street,” one organizer said through a bull horn. “Remain peaceful and aware. We have strength in holding the streets.”
Demonstrators also used pallets and old furniture, wood debris and even a bicycle to set up makeshift barricades on either end of a street that runs through the encampment, apparently in an attempt to block traffic. Some protesters were arguing about the barricades, though, saying they want them to come down.
Mayor Sam Adams had ordered the camp shut down, citing unhealthy conditions and the encampment’s attraction of drug users and thieves.
Police numbers shifted throughout the night, but they showed no signs of moving against the protesters.
Around 4 a.m., a line of about 200 police stretched across a street and in front of a federal courthouse.
– featured image: Nov. 13, 2011: A protester offers police a rose after the deadline passed when the city wanted them to vacate the Occupy Portland Camp in Portland, Ore. Thousands of protesters showed up as mounted police and police in riot gear moved in but were forced to back down by the crowd.
~ OWS Anarchists crash Conservative Blog Con, Clue you imbeciles, THEY are not the 1%. So then WHY were you crashing this event? ~ JP
A woman protester at the “Occupy Philadelphia” demonstration was raped in a tent, allegedly by a man who had traveled from out of state to join the protest, police said.
The suspect was arrested almost immediately after the alleged sexual assault, and the woman is with the police’s Special Victims Unit, ABC News reported.
Police were called to the encampment at City Hall just before 8:00pm Saturday night local time after a woman claimed she was sexually assaulted by a man in the tent.
The alleged rapist is reported to have been arrested multiple times in connection with a string of armed robberies in Kalamazoo, Michigan, officials said.