Mayors, police chiefs talk strategy on protests

November 15, 2011 - 6:15 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Mayors and police chiefs in cities with Occupy Wall Street camps held conference calls during the last month in which they discussed strategies to control crowds and avoid conflict.

The issue took on prominence after protests in Oakland, Calif., turned violent in late October.

The city officials say they discussed several lessons, including avoiding setting midnight deadlines for evictions and fencing of parks after an eviction so protesters couldn't reoccupy it.

While riot police sweeping through tent cities in Portland, Ore., Oakland, and New York City over the last several days may suggest a coordinated effort, authorities and a group that organized the calls say they were a coincidence.

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Associated Press writers Samantha Gross in New York, Terry Collins in Oakland, Calif., Greg Risling in Los Angeles, Jessica Gresko in Washington, D.C., Errin Haines in Atlanta contributed to this report.

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Nigel Duara can be reached at www.twitter.com/nigelduara