A packed courtroom at the Multnomah County Justice Center cleared out in an instant, this morning, when it came time for protestors arrested at a rally this weekend to face charges.

Turns out, there are no charges.

A deputy district attorney read off the names attached to "no complaints," cases where cops made arrests but the DA's office decided not to proceed, and Saturday's arrestees were free to go. The defendants had been arrested on misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct and interfering with a police officer.

Some people quietly cheered at hearing their name, but no one was really surprised—least of all the lawyer who'd come to represent them.

"It makes sense, because we've won your right to have a jury trial," attorney Stu Sugarman told the protestors out in the hall. "It's very expensive. I think they just don't want to deal with you."

Sugarman was talking about an Oregon Supreme Court decision that came down last year, ruling that demonstrators arrested during Occupy Portland were entitled to a trial—even if prosecutors chose to downgrade their charges to noncriminal violations. Such downgrading was possible in the case of this weekend's arrestees, but since they had representation from the National Lawyers Guild—an organization that offers free representation for people arrested during political demonstrations—prosecutors might have been in for a fight.

No one has an interest in that.

"Their main objective is to get people off of the streets," Sugarman said of the officers at Saturday's protest. "They've accomplished that, and now they just don't want to deal with you."

It's worth noting, though, that the DA's office could still change its mind and charge any or all of the protestors.

Also worth mentioning: The rough circumstances under which Portland cops released at least one of the people arrested on Saturday. Portland blogger and activist Hart Noecker says police put his backpack— containing his wallet, keys, and cell phone—into evidence, rather than checking it in at the jail (arrestees were taken for "interrogation" to East Precinct, out on SE 106th, before being brought back downtown and booked into the justice center).

That meant Noecker had no money, no way to get into his home, and no way to call friends when he was released Sunday morning, and couldn't claim his possessions until the following day. He says he tapped on a friend's window and found a place to sleep. When around 40 demonstrators descended on Portland City Hall yesterday afternoon to file complaints against the police, Noecker still hadn't been home.