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Nov-13-2011 03:05TweetFollow @OregonNews
Police Square off with Demonstrators at Occupy PortlandTim King Salem-News.com
One police officer injured and one demonstrator arrested by 3:00 a.m. Police are outnumbered, the crowd with Occupy Portland is still several thousand strong.
(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Police say they are authorized to use "chemical weapons" against a crowd of Occupy Portland protestors numbering somewhere between four and six thousand people.
A Portland police officer was shown being loaded into an ambulance by TV crews, apparently a lighted projectile had been tossed and injured an officer's leg; news clips show what appears to be sparks coming from the device, which was apparently a firework.
Reports initially indicated that the officer was injured when he was bucked from a horse, however video clips played repeatedly by KATU do not show the officer falling from or being thrown from the horse.
Apparently it was other protestors who initially identified the person who threw the firework and police were able to arrest the individual. This had been the only arrest at the event by 3:00 a.m.
As the midnight deadline to clear the demonstration area and clear all tents passed, the crowd moved into the street where they faced off with police shortly after 2:00 a.m. Portland Police do not have a history of using tear gas on demonstrators, but they said they were open to all options.
Many people had gathered downtown to watch the midnight closure take place, however police did not attempt to make arrests at that point as previously stated, and by 2:00 a.m. or so, the crowd of onlookers, most of whom were just there to see what would happen, had departed.
At 2:30 a.m. the crowd estimated to be as high as 6,000 people at midnight, was determined to still be at least 3,000 strong; that according to sources on Twitter, however most of the number at this point are strictly Occupy Portland protestors.
Police and demonstrators were squared off at 2:30 at Third and Madison, and at the same time large numbers of people were moving back into the park that had been ordered closed at 12:01 a.m. deadline.
News anchors and reporters discussed the different groups present at the event, some of which were anarchists; but that is part of what everyone expects in Portland, along with many other various groups that band together and are sometimes considered threatening toward police.
Portland's Mayor Sam Adams was on Twitter Saturday night but was not making himself available for media, in fact he specifically relayed through his public information officer that he would not grant media interviews at this critical point, but that, "he was monitoring it".
Standing face to face with riot clad police, word was circulated through the group to shout to any demonstrators that overstepped the line with violence, etc., 'peace' and to remind them
"They don't have significant manpower to arrest anything but a small number of us," a member of the movement said live during a KATU interview. The protestor said jail crowding problems will ultimately spell the end of a police attempt to arrest them into submission. He says there simply isn't room in the jails. He said they want this to only be seen as a peaceful protest and all violence is dissuaded.
All sides agree that the police so far have done a good job of restraining themselves, showing their presence but also backing up when faced with overwhelming numbers of people, which happened repeatedly.
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