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Protesters pepper-sprayed in Oregon

Nov. 4, 2012 at 2:05 PM

PORTLAND, Ore., Nov. 4 (UPI) -- A protest in Portland, Ore., against austerity measures ended with one arrest and several people being pepper-sprayed, police said.

Several hundred demonstrators gathered in the Lloyd District Saturday afternoon for a protest and march over a number of different issues, including healthcare reform, cutting military spending and public education, The (Portland) Oregonian reported.

Meredith Reese, 31, of the Portland Action Lab, which organized the event, said not everyone knew the route for the march, which led to a confrontation with police officers.

Police said the protesters did not have a permit and that they used pepper spray after demonstrators used wooden shields to directly confront police officers.

Portland police said in a release Saturday afternoon, "In the weeks leading up to this event, the Police Bureau attempted to contact event organizers to discuss the intent of the march and to ensure that the event would be peaceful. To date, no organizers or responsible parties responded to these requests.

"It should be clear that free speech events do not require a permit; but, marches or demonstrations occurring in public streets that restrict movement of other community members do require a permit issued by the city of Portland," the release said.

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