Hundreds of defiant protesters took to the streets yesterday after cops stormed Occupy Portland encampments and busted 50 people. Mayor Sam Adams ordered the camps shut because of what he called unhealthy conditions and increased crime triggered by drug users and thieves drawn to the sites, reports AP. Authorities erected chain-link fences with barbed wire around adjacent downtown parks to block demonstrators from moving back in. "This is not a game," said Adams. Protesters are considering what action to take next. Some have proposed occupying foreclosed homes, others to move onto the state university campus or to the shores of the Willamette River.
The Portland police action was the largest weekend crackdown on protests across the nation. Authorities also dismantled a camp in Salt Lake City, and Denver police removed mattresses, cooking grills and tents on a sidewalk, busting 17 protesters. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter yesterday boosted police patrols at his city's protest site, saying conditions were "dramatically deteriorating," Reuters reports. The movement "has changed and the people have changed," he said. "We are now at a critical point where we must reevaluate our entire relationship with this very changed group." (Read more protesters stories.)