PHOENIX -- Occupy Phoenix and Occupy Tucson demonstrations took place throughout the day Saturday. The demonstrations were part of a series of protests across the country in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Occupy Phoenix officially began at Noon Saturday in Cesar Chavez Plaza downtown Phoenix. According to Phoenix Police, there were large crowds with no known injuries or arrest. The plaza cleared out late Saturday afternoon, prior to its 6 p.m. closing time.
As events in the plaza wrapped up, demonstrators marched to Hance Park, which remains open until 10:30 p.m. A group of around 100 protesters remained in Hance Park after the posted closing time.
After members of the Phoenix Police Community Response Squad repeatedly ordered protesters to leave, a line of about 100 helmeted officers, many carrying batons, formed at around 11 p.m. PDT.
The arrests began around midnight after a group of demonstrators sat on the ground, refusing to move. Police slowly escorted them away one-by-one.
The arrests appeared peaceful and there were no signs of violence between the officers and a crowd.
Protester Davin Wright, 31, described the scene as generally peaceful, but he said police acted roughly during some of the initial arrests.
"Anyone who thought they were going to be crunching skulls; it's not going to happen," Wright told the Associated Press.
Later, a dozens of people remaining inside the park withdrew to the street as the line of officers slowly walked toward them.
A statement released by Phoenix Police Sunday said 45 arrests had taken place for criminal trespass, a class 3 misdemeanor. Most of those arrested were passive in nature and no injuries were reported to either officers or demonstrators.
The Occupy Wall Street protests began September 17 in front of the New York Stock Exchange.
Groups have been turning out across the country to express anger over costly health care and rising unemployment, and to cast blame on corporate interests for the economic pain they say all but the wealthiest Americans have endured since the 2008 financial meltdown.
Portions of this report were contributed by the Associated Press