Image: Occupy Chicago protester is arrested
Paul Beaty  /  AP
Police arrest an anti-Wall Street protester in Chicago's Grant Park on Sunday. At least 175 arrests were also made in the same park last weekend after protesters set up tents past public hours.
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 10/23/2011 12:40:59 PM ET 2011-10-23T16:40:59

About 130 protesters were arrested at an Occupy Chicago demonstration early on Sunday after they set up tents and refused to leave a public park after closing time, police said.

The protests, which have spread across the United States and to other countries since starting in New York last month, focus on anger over inequality of wealth, government bailouts of big banks and persistently high unemployment.

The breakup of the protest in Grant Park was the second mass arrest of Occupy Chicago demonstrators in the past week. A week ago, about 175 protesters were arrested.

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.

The protesters were charged with violating a city ordinance, the equivalent of the lowest misdemeanor, and most were released after agreeing to appear in court, Chicago Police Officer Robert Perez said.

Grant Park, the site of large protests against the Vietnam War during the Democratic Party's convention in Chicago in 1968, is supposed to be closed after 11 p.m., police said.

PhotoBlog: Occupy Wall Street

Police began taking people into custody just before 1 a.m. Sunday, first taking people away one by one and then in groups to vans and two large white buses. Some waiting to be arrested shouted to police: "Take me next! Take me next!" Others chanted: "We'll be back!"

Officers had begun placing metal barricades around the part of Chicago's Grant Park known as Congress Plaza about 11:10 p.m. Saturday, minutes after the park had closed. Soon after that, police went through the crowd and warned people to leave or risk arrest for remaining in the closed park in violation of a city ordinance.

Story: 'Occupy' protesters find allies in ranks of the wealthy

Several of the protesters who remained inside the barricades in the park sat on the ground in the chilly Chicago night air. Others locked arms and then the arrests began as trickle before picking up speed.

"We are going to hold this space, and that's what we are going to do," protest organizer Brit Schulte, 23, told the Chicago Sun-Times. "Our ability to invoke our civil rights to protest shouldn't be limited, and we shouldn't be censored."

'There was no violence'
Kaunert said none of those arrested had resisted.

"Everybody was very peaceful and smiling and there was no violence, though a lot of chanting," he added.

He urged authorities to let the people protest peacefully against the perceived corporate greed and other ills they see on Wall Street and elsewhere. He noted it was the second straight weekend that arrests had been made after at least 175 arrests in the same park the previous Sunday after protesters set up tents past public hours.

"The police came in and again took away our right to free speech and assembly," he said before dawn Sunday, adding those led off weren't immediately released. "Several paddywagons left and they had two very large prison buses and those are gone now."

Story: Wall St. protest isn't like ours, Tea Party says

Paulina Jasczuk, a 24-year-old dental receptionist, watched as her boyfriend, Philip Devon, was led away. She threw him a white sweater against the chill.

"I'm proud of everyone who got arrested tonight," she told AP, adding she hoped they would inspire more demonstrators to join in the movement in the weeks ahead.

PhotoBlog: Occupy LA

Demonstrators were taken away one by one and handcuffed with white plastic ties and. Some on the scene shouted: "This is what democracy looks like!"

Drums banged and some people clanged on metal.

Image: Occupy Chicago protester is arrested
Paul Beaty  /  AP
A protester is arrested during in Chicago's Grant Park on Sunday.

"One: We are the people! Two: we are united! Three, the occupation is not leaving!" people shouted, including others just outside the park.

Story: Occupy Oakland protesters ignore eviction notice

Jonathan Sumner, 25, of Chicago, watched the arrests from outside the park and began shouting at officers: "Why are you doing this?"

"It's a sad day for the CPD" he said, using the acronym of the Chicago Police Department.

Some said earlier that arrests only signal the importance of the Occupy movement.

"This movement will not be a serious movement until we take a stand, and getting arrested is just one way of taking a stand," said Max Farrar, 20, a junior political science major at DePaul University, speaking Saturday to a reporter.

PhotoBlog: Meet the Occupy Seattle protesters

About 1,500 people gathered for Saturday's protest, descending on the city park with hopes of making it the movement's permanent home. The group started in Chicago's financial district and marched to the park.

'Greed Sucks'
Along the way, marchers 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.

Occupy Wall Street began a month ago in New York among a few young people, and has grown to tens of thousands around the country and the world.

Slideshow: Occupy protests go global (on this page)

A city ordinance prevents the Occupy Chicago group from camping outside the Federal Reserve Bank and although the protesters want to make Grant Park their permanent home, they lack permits for their occupation. Some called the ordinance "unconstitutional."

The Associated Press and msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.

Data: Occupy Wall Street

Video: One-month-old Occupy Wall Street still growing

  1. Transcript of: One-month-old Occupy Wall Street still growing

    BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: The Occupy Wall Street protesters have been camped out in Lower Manhattan for one month now. From its very simple beginnings, the movement has lately been seeing its impact felt around the globe, and many around the world are asking what the next move is here. NBC 's Mara Schiavocampo is with us from Lower Manhattan tonight. Mara , good evening.

    MARA SCHIAVOCAMPO reporting: Brian , good evening. Organizers here at Zuccotti Park released a statement this morning saying while they're grateful to reach that one-month milestone, there's still a lot of work to be done. This weekend the Occupy Wall Street movement had its biggest events yet. Tens of thousands gathered for a global day of protests, including in New York 's Times Square and in London . Now, while the protests were mostly peaceful, there was some violence. Groups in Rome burned cars and smashed windows. And in Chicago , 175 were arrested when police dismantled a tent camp. Now, here in New York support continues to pour in. Organizers say they get up to 400 boxes of donated supplies every day and they've received $300,000 in cash. As for what's next, the group here has started holding daily think tank meetings to get a better sense of what the protesters want. Brian :

    WILLIAMS: Mara Schiavocampo in Lower Manhattan

Photos: Global Occupy protests begin

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  1. Mounted police stop Occupy Wall Street participants trying to break through barricades preventing them from spilling onto the street at Times Square in New York on Saturday, Oct. 15. Thousands of demonstrators protesting corporate greed filled Times Square and there were dozens of arests. The Occupy Wall Street movement went global with groups from Asia to Europe, and in every U.S. state, staging demonstrations and other actions. (Emmanuel Dunand / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. New York police, center, arrest protesters amid the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in Times Square. (Zhu Wei / Zuma Press) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Demonstrators associated with the Occupy Wall Street movement protest amid steam in New York's Times Square on Oct. 15. (Mario Tama / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Protesters with Occupy Seattle burn a Bank of America debit card as they protest in downtown Seattle on Oct. 15. (Ted S. Warren / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Occupy Seattle protesters march near Seattle's Pike Place Market, Oct. 15. (Ted S. Warren / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Tourists in a cable car take photographs of Occupy San Francisco protesters during a demonstration Oct. 15. (Robert Galbraith / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Demonstrators take part in the Occupy Miami protest, Oct. 15. (Joe Skipper / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. People are detained by New York City police officers in the lobby of a Citibank branch near Washington Square, where Occupy Wall Street demonstrators held a rally Oct. 15. (Mary Altaffer / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. About 100 Occupy Wall Street protesters march along Oxnard Boulevard in Oxnard, Calif., on Oct 15. (Juan Carlo / The Ventura County Star via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Young people perfom a symbolic act at Athen's Syntagma square as they participate in a protest against the global financial system Oct. 15. (Alkis Konstantinidis / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. A police officer subdues a protester in front of the St. John in Lateran basilica during clashes in Rome on Oct. 15. (Gregorio Borgia / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Protesters march through the smoke of flares during a demonstration in dowtown Rome on Oct. 15. (Mario Laporta / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Police officers fire tear gas in Rome on Oct. 15. Protesters in Rome smashed shop windows and torched cars as violence broke out during a demonstration in the Italian capital. (Gregorio Borgia / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Protesters hurl objects at police in Rome, Saturday, Oct. 15. (Gregorio Borgia / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Demonstrators attempt to break through the entrance of a bank branch during a protest against banking and finance in Rome. (Stefano Rellandini / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Police scuffle with 'Occupy London' protesters at an entrance to Paternoster Square, Oct. 15. (Matt Cetti-Roberts / Zuma Press) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. A protester scuffles with police during the 'Occupy London' protest outside St. Paul's Cathedral on Oct. 15, in London, England. (Dan Kitwood / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Julian Assange, the founder of the WikiLeaks website arrives to speak to protesters outside St Paul's Cathedral. (Dan Kitwood / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Protesters shout slogans as they take part in the 'Occupy Central' protest in Stockholm, Sweden. (Maja Suslin / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Protesters gather at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. The demonstration is one of many being held across the country recently in support of the ongoing Occupy Wall Street demonstration in New York. (Bradley C Bower / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. German protesters demonstrating against the influence of bankers and financiers sit on the ground next to the Euro symbol in front of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. (Johannes Simon / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Hooded protestors with Pinocchio-type noses, one holding a Euro sign, walk up to the gate of the NYSE Euronext stock exchange in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Oct. 15, during a demonstration in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement. (Peter Dejong / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Demonstrators stand in front of the Credit Suisse building during the "Occupy Paradeplatz" protest in Zurich, Switzerland. (Christian Hartmann / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. A protester with fake U.S. bank notes stuck on his mask takes part in an "Occupy Hong Kong" rally outside the Hong Kong Exchange Square. (Kin Cheung / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. A protester holds a placard during an "Occupy Hong Kong" rally outside the Hong Kong Exchange Square. (Kin Cheung / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image: 129361208
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    Above: Slideshow (25) Occupy protests go global
  2. Nate Beeler / The Washington Examiner, Politicalcartoons.com
    Slideshow (16) Occupy Wall Street

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