Portland police prepare for Steel Bridge protest



PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Protesters in the Occupy Portland movement began massing at a bridge Thursday morning as police closed it to all but mass transit traffic.

The Occupy organizers held a rally with union groups at the east side of the Steel Bridge at 8 a.m., calling for spending on infrastructure to promote employment.

They planned a 10 a.m. rally on Waterfront Park on the west side of the Willamette River at 10 a.m., followed by a march at 11 a.m. they said would target banks.

In preparation, police closed the bridge to pedestrians, bikes and vehicle traffic. City vehicles blocked access.

Police told commuters to expect congestion around the Steel Bridge and consider alternate routes to cross the river.