By Reporter
msnbc.com
updated 11/15/2011 7:17:28 PM ET 2011-11-16T00:17:28

Eleven mayors participated in a conference call last week about "Occupy" protests in their cities, but they deny their talk was a strategy session to coordinate the sweeping of demonstrators' encampments.

"It was more like a therapy session," Amy Ruiz, spokesman for Portland, Ore., Mayor Sam Adams, told msnbc.com on Tuesday about the Nov. 10 call.

Portland was one of at least five cities where over the next four days after the call police moved in on anti-Wall Street camps. Others included Denver, Salt Lake City, Oakland and New York.

The call was organized by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which said 11 mayors participated but the records of who called were not immediately available.

Another "conversation" about Occupy Wall Street was held in early October, the Denver mayor's office told NBC station KUSA.

"The conversation was focused on general information-sharing and best practices surrounding the challenges and opportunities this unique situation presents to every city," Amber Miller told KUSA.

Story: Protesters in, tents out at NYC 'Occupy' park

On Tuesday, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan's acknowledgement of talks brought charges of anti-Occupy collusion among mayors from a variety of watchdogs, including broadcaster RT and progressive blog Firedoglake.

Image: A sign calling for the ouster of Oakland's Mayor Quan is seen Nov. 1 at the Occupy Oakland encampment.
Ben Margot  /  AP
A sign calling for the ouster of Oakland's Mayor Quan is seen Nov. 1 at the Occupy Oakland encampment.

"If you thought the recent crackdowns of Occupy encampments across the country was more than a coincidence, there is a good chance you were right," an article on RT.com said, citing the interview with Quan.

"I was recently on a conference call with 18 cities across the country who had the same situation," Quan told the BBC, which shared the audio tape with the radio show "The Takeaway," which also raised the cooperation question. "What had started as a political movement and a political encampment ended up being an encampment that was no longer in control of the people who started them."

Ustream star is born at Wall Street protests

It was unclear which conference call Quan was referring to.

Quan said the Occupy movement is looking for more stability, separation from anarchist groups and private spaces in which to operate.

Image: Oakland Mayor Quan speaks during a news conference about the eviction of the Occupy Oakland campsite in Frank Ogawa Plaza
Beck Diefenbach  /  Reuters
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan speaks during a news conference about the eviction of the Occupy Oakland campsite in Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, Calif.

Ruiz said mayors on the Nov. 10 conference call merely traded notes about what was going on with Occupy protests. News of an overdose in Vancouver, British Columbia, and a hit-and-run in Washington, D.C., were among the topics.

The mayors also noted that in each of their cities residents were asking about endgames and timelines, of which there were none, Ruiz said.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors says it schedules calls more than once a month but less than weekly so city leaders can discuss issues or whatever is on their minds, organizers said. Email invitations are sent to members, who are free to phone in or ignore the calls.

Regarding the Nov. 10 meeting, the mayors talked about protesters during a round-robin discussion after a short business agenda, the group said.

Click here to follow Jim Gold on Facebook.

Jace Larson of NBC station KUSA of Denver contributed to this report.

Video: NY judge upholds eviction of ‘Occupy’ campsite

  1. Transcript of: NY judge upholds eviction of ‘Occupy’ campsite

    BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: Another story in the news. All day today here in New York , the NYPD moved into Lower Manhattan before dawn and they emptied the park of those Occupy Wall Street protesters who have been living there for two months, where it all started. Here's what Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan looked like just yesterday, before the police raid, and afterward. Everything, everyone out and a power washing by sanitation workers. Late today, a judge ruled they can go back, but not with their tents, sleeping bags and other camping gear. It's a developing story here in New York tonight. NBC 's Mara Schiavocampo covering for us. Mara , good evening.

    MARA SCHIAVOCAMPO reporting: Brian , good evening. Protesters began re-entering this park about an hour ago, streaming in joyously. This after a tumultuous day when they were evicted from the park, their camp dismantled completely. Shortly after midnight, hundreds of officers in riot gear stormed the protesters' camp. Those who refused to leave were forced out.

    Unidentified Man #1: Cops came in there six at a time, pulling people, pulling kids up by their arms, by their shoulders, by their hair.

    Unidentified Woman: I think it's an outrage what they're doing.

    SCHIAVOCAMPO: Up to 100 were arrested. Every single tent and sleeping bag hauled away. Then, before dawn , the park was scrubbed clean.

    Unidentified Man #2: Well, it was unsanitary. It broke all the rules that the park was about.

    SCHIAVOCAMPO: City officials said while they support the right to protest, it's time for the occupation to end.

    Mayor MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (New York City): The First Amendment protects speech. It does not protect the use of tents and sleeping bags to take over a public space.

    SCHIAVOCAMPO: New York joins a growing list of cities cracking down this week, from Oakland ...

    Unidentified Man #3: All right. We got everybody out.

    SCHIAVOCAMPO: ...to Portland...

    Group of Protesters:

    SCHIAVOCAMPO: ...to Berkeley just this afternoon. The protest began in New York two months ago. The anger at corporate greed and wealth inequality gaining traction and national attention.

    Unidentified Man #4: I'm just letting my friends, you know.

    Unidentified Man #5: ...doesn't want you anymore. All right?

    SCHIAVOCAMPO: But now, many communities are fed up with the cost and inconvenience of around the clock protest camps.

    Mr. LARRY SABATO (University of Virginia Center for Politics): People were sympathetic to at least some of the goals as expressed by the early occupiers, but lately it seems, because of crime and sanitation and ideological disputes, this seems to be degenerating in a way that reminds people of the worst of the 1960s .

    Group of Protesters: The whole world is watching.

    SCHIAVOCAMPO: In New York , protesters spent the day trying to get back into Zuccotti Park , fighting not just for access to one park but the future of their movement. Though protesters have been allowed back into the park, this is far from a victory for them. They can no longer camp here, which completely changes the

    nature of their occupation. Brian: Mara Schiavocampo , after a long day, in Lower Manhattan . Mara , thanks.

    WILLIAMS:

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