PORTLAND Occupy Portland protesters said they were pepper sprayed by police during a march Saturday afternoon.

Protesters told KGW that police sprayed a group of about 24 people during a march in Northeast Portland.

The handful of people hit stopped to wash the pepper spray off while around 200 other marchers continued down Northeast Halsey Street.

Police confirmed they used pepper spray after they said demonstrators used wooden shields to directly confront them. They have made one arrest.

Police said they began monitoring the unpermitted demonstration march early Saturday afternoon.

The march started around 1 p.m. at Holladay Park in Portland's Lloyd District as a protest against excessive debt, and cuts to education, healthcare and social services.

Dozens of police were following the group and stopped traffic as protesters made their way through the streets around the Lloyd Center eventually returning to Holladay Park.

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