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Police, Occupy protesters head for Ore. showdown

By Terrence Petty

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Nov. 13 2011 1:55 a.m. MST

Demonstrators light candles in remembrance of a man who was shot and killed after an altercation outside a make-shift camp site for Occupy Wall Street protesters at Frank Ogawa Plaza, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011 in Oakland, Calif.

Marcio Jose Sanchez, Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. — Anti-Wall Street protesters in Portland headed for a police showdown over orders to abandon a city park encampment and authorities elsewhere stepped up pressure against the demonstrators, arresting nearly two dozen.

Tensions were increasing early Sunday in Portland, where as many as 200 protesters ignored a midnight deadline to abandon an encampment or face possible arrest.

Occupy Portland protesters dismantled large sections of their encampment amid a heavy police presence on Saturday, but dozens of tents remained after midnight.

Mayor Sam Adams ordered the camp shut down, citing unhealthy conditions and the encampment's attraction of drug users and thieves. Paramedics treated two people suffering from apparent drug overdoses, one on Friday and one on Saturday, bringing to four the number of nonfatal overdoses inside the camp, police said.

Demonstrators rallied Saturday evening as organizers said they hope radical elements don't use violence to overshadow the movement's message of peaceful resistance to income inequality and what they see as corporate greed.

But police prepared for a possible clash, warning that dozens of anarchists may be planning a confrontation with authorities. Officers seized pieces of cement blocks Friday, saying they were told some demonstrators had plans to use them as weapons against police. They said they believe some demonstrators are building shields and trying to collect gas masks.

For the second time in as many days, Oakland city officials warned protesters Saturday that they do not have the right to camp in the plaza in front of City Hall and face immediate arrest.

The eviction notices come as officials across the country urged an end to similar gatherings in the wake of three deaths in different cities, including two by gunfire.

In Salt Lake City, police arrested 19 people Saturday when protesters refused to leave a park a day after a man was found dead inside his tent at the encampment.

The arrests came after police moved into the park early in the evening where protesters had been ordered to leave by the end of the day. About 150 people had been living in the camp there for weeks.

City officials rescinded permits for the group to stay in the parks overnight Friday, after a man was found dead inside a tent at the Occupy Salt Lake City encampment, from what police said was a combination of drug use and carbon monoxide.

Authorities in Denver forced protesters to leave a downtown encampment and arrested four people for interfering with officers who removed illegally pitched tents, said police spokesman Sonny Jackson.

Jackson said police had advised protesters since Wednesday that their tents in Civic Center Park and on a nearby sidewalk were illegal.

Protesters have been marching in Denver for sixth straight Saturdays — with dwindling numbers.

Violence marked the protest in San Francisco Saturday where police said two demonstrators attacked two police officers in separate incidents during a march.

Police spokesman Carlos Manfredi said a protester slashed an officer's hand with a pen knife while another protester shoved an officer, causing facial cuts. He said neither officer was seriously hurt, and the assailants couldn't be located.

Demands for Oakland protesters to pack up increased after a man was shot and killed Thursday near the encampment site.

"Your activities are injurious to health, obstruct the free use of property, interfering with the comfortable enjoyment of (Frank Ogawa Plaza), and unlawfully obstruct the free passage or use of a public park or square," the notice read.

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