CHICAGO (AP) – Anti-Wall Street demonstrators of the Occupy Chicago movement stood their ground in a downtown park in noisy but peaceful defiance of police orders to clear out, prompting 130 arrests early Sunday, authorities said.
Occupy Chicago spokesman Joshua Kaunert vowed after the arrests that protests would continue in the Midwest city.
“We’re not going anywhere. There are still plenty of us,” Kaunert told The Associated Press after the arrests, which took police more than an hour to complete.
Elsewhere in the nation, police reported 11 arrests overnight in the Occupy Cincinnati protests. Police said those arrested had stayed in that city’s Fountain Square after Sunday’s 3 a.m. closing time and each was charged with criminal trespass.
In Chicago, police began taking people into custody just before 1 a.m. Sunday. Those arrested were led in groups to vans and two large white buses as others clamored to be arrested.
“Take me next! Take me next!” some shouted as police began the arrests. Others chanted as they were led away: “We’ll be back!”
Officers had begun placing metal barricades around the area of Chicago’s Grant Park known as Congress Plaza about 11:10 p.m. Saturday, minutes after the park had closed. Afterward, police then went through the crowd and warned people to leave or risk arrest for remaining in the closed park in violation of a city ordinance.
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