PORTLAND — Portland public services crews accompanied by four police officers arrived at Lincoln Park at 1 p.m. today to complete the dismantling of the Occupy Maine encampment.

A city forklift dumped wooden pallets that had been used as tent platforms during the four-month encampment into a large dumpster. When that dumpster was filled, the crews began filling another with the piles of tents, sleeping bags and plastic bags of belongings that had been left behind.

A small group of protesters sat on park benches and watched the activity, while others worked to free tent stakes and other items from the frozen ground. There were no confrontations.

A handful of Occupy Maine protesters had worked throughout the morning to remove some of the last of the tents that had been set up in the park in recent months as part of a protest against economic inequality.

By noon there were just two tents remaining where dozens had been at the height of the protest.

One of the two tents that remained at noon was occupied by a group of homeless people who said they had nowhere else to go. The other tent had been abandoned weeks ago.

The city had granted a four-day extension to vacate the park, and as the 8 a.m. deadline passed this morning, six tents, a few plastic tables and a snowman remained, along with a handful of demonstrators, several of whom were dismantling their tents.

At least one of the demonstrators, Jen Rose, had said she planned to defy the city’s order to vacate the park. Since it’s legal to pass through the park, but not set up a tent, she created a mobile tent consisting of a dolly with a plastic box and a wooden pallet topped by a tent.

Rose said she was living up to the letter of the city ordinance, but she wouldn’t characterize it as civil disobedience.

At noon, however, Rose and her mobile tent were nowhere in sight.

At one point in the morning, a man shouted at the demonstrators, asking them when they were leaving and criticizing an activist for burning a U.S. flag in the park on Monday. There was no physical confrontation.

The Occupy demonstrators reported that one of the remaining tents had been slashed sometime overnight.

Occupy Maine has touted itself as the nation’s longest-running Occupy encampment, starting two weeks after the Occupy Wall Street movement began in New York.

A judge last week rejected the group’s request for an injunction to remain in the park. The group plans to decide after cleaning up whether to continue pursuing its lawsuit seeking to stay in the park.


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