Occupy protesters try to disrupt ports; police make arrests
Police in several U.S. cities Monday confronted Occupy protests aimed and shutting down port facilities.
Arrests were made, while ports reported only minor hindrances.
Police in Houston arrested 20 protesters after dozens of police on foot and on horseback confronted a somewhat larger group of Occupy protesters, who blocked an interstate on-ramp, authorities said.
Small groups of up to six protesters lay down on the pavement and interlocked arms and legs, while a larger group stood near them yelling protest slogans. Officers set up barricades to cordon off protesters in an attempt to free the ramp for traffic. The majority of the protesters could be seen moving behind the barricades, with a few exceptions, including those who had lain down.
Police handcuffed some protesters and led them to a police vehicle. Six face felony charges with using criminal instruments to block a public roadway, said Houston police department spokesman Victor Senties.
Elsewhere, protesters affiliated with the nationwide “Occupy” movement set out in the pre-dawn hours in Oakland, California; Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon, to shut down ports in an effort to “disrupt the economic machine that benefits the wealthiest individuals and corporations,” according to organizers.
Protesters in Long Beach, California, caused isolated traffic delays but did not hinder port operations, according to police Chief Jim McDonnell.