'Occupy Portland' Protesters Defy Eviction Orders

Police arrested nearly two dozen anti-Wall Street protesters in two different cities Saturday and tensions mounted elsewhere as local officials stepped up pressure for demonstrators to abandon their encampments.

While many protesters packed up and moved out, officials said an estimated 200 people remained in the camp that began Oct. 6. At least 1,000 people gathered outside on Southwest 3rd and 4th avenues overnight Saturday to watch the proceedings.

"I'd prefer not to get arrested because it's my birthday today, but if I have to, I will," said a Seattle protester who called himself Jackson. Crowds converged on two adjacent downtown Portland parks where protesters are camped after city officials set a midnight Saturday deadline to disperse.

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."

In Salt Lake City, police arrested 19 people when protesters refused to leave a park a day after a man was found dead inside his tent at the encampment. Oakland police said Saturday evening that they had not made any move to clear the campers, who have been in the plaza in front of City Hall since Oct. 10.

An officer was injured sometime after 1:30 a.m. when an incendiary device was thrown into a group of mounted police who were trying to push the crowd off of Main Street. There were signs of tension, however, among some inside the parks. A handful cursed and taunted the dozens of police officers, who stood on each corner and patrolled the sidewalks that crisscross the parks.

"We'll take action that's appropriate, when it's appropriate," police spokesman Lt. Robert King told The Associated Press. Members of Occupy movements in Fontana, Redlands, Riverside, and other nearby towns marched past banks and in front of San Bernardino City Hall in what they called a "visibility action," The Sun newspaper reported.

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