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Occupy Baltimore: City Wants Scaled Back Presence

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — There have been violent clashes between police and the Occupy Wall Street protesters as the movement gains momentum across the country.

Andrea Fujii  reports protesters have been living at the Inner Harbor for three weeks.

The number of tents continues to grow at McKeldin Plaza. There’s more than two dozen now but all of that could soon change.

Anti-Wall Street demonstrators went head-to-head with police in Oakland, Calif. The tent city there was torn down. Dozens are behind bars as police used tear gas to control the angry crowds.

In Dallas, police put protesters on the ground after they blocked access to a downtown bank. Some were dragged into a police van as they were taken into custody.

In Chicago, at least 100 demonstrators were led to jail in front of a screaming crowd after they refused to leave a downtown park.

“We’ve been here for three weeks without a permit. What’s so different about tomorrow?” said Marcus Clary, Occupy Baltimore.

But Wednesday could be a very different day at Occupy Baltimore. City Hall has declared camping at McKeldin Plaza illegal. But some protesters say they’ll hold strong.

“I think it’s a beneficial thing for us to stand out here and stand up for what we believe in and if that gets us arrested, well, fine and dandy,” said Anthonio Henry, demonstrator.

The mayor’s office released a statement saying they are working to protect the protesters’ right to free speech but McKeldin Plaza is not a campground and overnight camping is prohibited. The city will continue to monitor the situation and deal with individual acts of illegal behavior on a case by case basis.

Demonstrators say even if they’re kicked off the plaza, it won’t stop them.

“They can try to stop this area but they can’t stop the movement,” said Asher Strauss, Occupy Baltimore.

Protesters say they are trying to work on a compromise deal with the city to remain there peacefully.

According to a new CBS/New York Times poll, 43 percent say they agree with the views of Occupy Wall Street.

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