Protesters arrested in Texas, Oregon
Sunday, October 30, 2011
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Dozens of anti-Wall Street protesters were arrested Sunday in Texas, where they clashed with police over food tables, and in Oregon, where officers dragged them out of a park in an affluent neighborhood.
In New York and many other East Coast cities, it was a snowstorm that was making it difficult for demonstrators to stay camped out.
The “Occupy” movement, which began six weeks ago in lower Manhattan to decry corporate influence in government and wealth inequality, has spread to cities large and small across the country and around the world.
In Portland, Ore., police have allowed protesters to sleep in two parks surrounded by office buildings despite policies outlawing camping, but Mayor Sam Adams warned demonstrators last week that he would not allow them to take over any more parks. Late Saturday, hundreds of protesters gathered in another park — Jamison Square in the wealthy Pearl District — and defied a midnight curfew.
About 30 people who had decided to risk arrest sat on the ground as other protesters walked around them and chanted “Whose Park? Our Park!” and “Make No Arrests.”
When police moved in around 2 a.m., all but the sitting protesters backed off. An Associated Press photographer said most of those protesters went limp and were carried or dragged away by police.
The protesters — all appearing to be in their 20s and 30s with many wearing Halloween-style face paint — were handcuffed and taken away in police vans.
Police said the arrests were made on charges that included criminal trespassing, interfering with a police officer and disorderly conduct.
In Austin, Texas, police made 39 arrests early Sunday as they moved to enforce a new rule banning food tables in the City Hall plaza where protesters have camped out. Some protesters surrounded the tables with arms linked.
Protesters in California, Georgia and Colorado also have been arrested over the last several days.
In Tennessee, Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration sent state troopers to haul away Occupy Nashville protesters Thursday and Friday for violating a park curfew, but none were jailed. A local official, Night Court Magistrate Tom Nelson, refused to sign off on the arrest warrants, saying state officials have no authority to set the curfew.
On Saturday night, protesters prepared for a third night of arrests but were greeted by only a single trooper on patrol who made no move against them. Safety Department spokeswoman Jennifer Donnals would not say whether the troopers plan to continue the arrests, saying only, “The curfew remains in effect and we urge the protesters to adhere to it.”
New York’s Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been similarly thwarted by local officials in Albany, where Occupy protesters have pitched tents in a city park across the street from the Capitol.
Cuomo reportedly asked Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings last weekend to begin enforcing the park’s 11 p.m. curfew. Jennings declined; he told the New York Post, “My counsel said we’d be opening ourselves up to civil liability if we forced them out.”
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