DENVER (AP) — Dozens of police in riot gear advanced early Friday on the last remaining cluster of protesters supporting the Occupy Wall Street movement at the state Capitol.
The demonstrators retreated without resisting, but some were arrested.
Protesters chanted "Peaceful!" or "Shameful!" as they backed away from their encampment.
There were no immediate signs of physical violence, and an exact number of arrests was unclear. Officers placed plastic ties around some protesters' wrists. Police carried or dragged some from the encampment and led others by the arm.
Stragglers were carried by police to small groundskeepers tractors and driven away.
Some protesters covered their faces with handmade masks or bandanas.
Authorities began taking down dozens of tents at around 3:30 a.m. At about 6:30 a.m., officers advanced on a line of protesters who had locked arms around the remaining tents. Officers held their batons horizontally and nudged or pushed the protesters to break up the human chain.
By 7 a.m., most of the group had retreated across a street that had been closed to traffic. Some protesters moved back into the street when officers let traffic flow again, prompting police to herd them back to the sidewalk.
As in other cities, the Denver protesters said they object to Wall Street excesses and the economic power of the rich.
"My main complaint is there is no more middle class in America. The rich control most of the money," said David Humphrey, 24, of Pine. He carried a sign with a picture of President Barack Obama and the words "Change God bless."
Pavlos Stavropoulos of Littleton, who described himself as a medic for the protest, said he had seen no serious injuries.
"This is a very disciplined action," he said.
A nearby bus station was closed because of the police action. About a dozen downtown bus routes were picking up and dropping off commuters on the sidewalk outside the station.