ATLANTA—Atlanta police late Saturday swarmed the area near a city park where Occupy Atlanta protesters had gathered with the intent of staying overnight.
Police officers converged on the area near Woodruff Park on motorcycles, horseback and in riot gear soon after its 11 p.m. Saturday closing time. Police began herding protesters away from the park and installed barricades around it. A police helicopter flew overhead.
While most protesters had left the park, police arrested at least two people. Demonstrators chanted and yelled to protest the show of force.
Protesters began camping out in Woodruff Park on Oct. 7. Mayor Kasim Reed initially issued an executive order allowing them to stay, but later revoked it after he said there were increasing security concerns.
Police on Oct. 26 arrested more than 50 people they say were violating a city ordinance by staying in the park after closing.
The protesters returned Saturday night, saying they planned to defy warnings that they would be arrested if they stayed past the 11 p.m. closing time.
The crowd swelled during the brisk night to several hundred people, as the Rev. Jesse Jackson paid an early-evening visit and some protesters set up tents. But around 11 p.m., some protesters began clearing out.
The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported that Jackson earlier showed his support for protesters. He told them that the movement was an extension of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Poor People's Campaign.