Occupy Chicago protesters stood their ground in city’s Grant Park in noisy but peaceful defiance of police orders to clear out, prompting at least 100 arrests early Sunday.
According to Joshua Kaunert, Occupy Chicago movement spokesman, after the arrests the protests would continue in the Midwest City.
“We’re not going anywhere. There are still plenty of us,” Joshua Kaunert told The Associated Press after the arrests, which took police more than an hour to complete.
Elsewhere in US, police reported 11 arrests overnight in the Occupy Cincinnati protests.
According to police, those arrested had stayed in that city’s Fountain Square after Sunday’s 3:00 a.m. closing time and each was charged with criminal trespass.
Police began taking Occupy Chicago protesters into custody just before 1:00 a.m. Sunday.
Arrested protesters were led in groups to vans and two large white buses as others clamored to be arrested.
“Take me next! Take me next!” some of the protesters shouted as police began the arrests.
Others chanted as they were led away: “We’ll be back!”
Police had begun placing metal barricades around the area of Chicago’s Grant Park known as Congress Plaza about 11:10 p.m. on 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.
After police warning, some of the protesters who stayed inside the barricades in the park sat on the ground.
Other people joined in from just outside the park. Police said they made approximately 100 arrests early Sunday but did not have an exact count.
Joshua Kaunert, Occupy Chicago spokesman, noted it was the second straight weekend that arrests had been made in the park after 175 arrests the previous Sunday when protesters set up tents past public hours.
Occupy Chicago protesters were taken away one by one and handcuffed with white plastic ties.
About 1,500 people gathered for the protest that began Saturday.
Occupy Chicago demonstrators descended on the city’s Grant Park with hopes of making it the movement’s permanent home.
Protesters had started in Chicago’s financial district before marching to the park.
Along the way, demonstrators chanted “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out!” and held signs that read “Greed Sucks” and “No War But The Class War” while police on horses blocked them from walking on the street on Michigan Avenue, leaving them with just the sidewalks to occupy.