At least 20 people arrested or detained by Chicago police during Sunday's
protests were released from custody overnight, according to other protesters and representatives of a lawyers' organization offering them free legal advice.
A total of 45 people were arrested during Sunday's protests, police said, citing unofficial numbers.
Most were taken to Area North police headquarters at West Belmont and North Western avenues, where about 30 protesters camped outside the station just before dawn while waiting for others to be released.
About 80 people -- including some who walked to the station from the Loop -- had been outside the station at about midnight, but the crowd dwindled through the morning.
One of those arrested is a freelance photographer who was covering the protests for Getty Images, said Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, who waited outside the station until the photographer was released just before 4 a.m.
Some of the protesters camping on the sidewalk outside the station dozed under blankets or sleeping bags, while others shared food and chatted in small groups.
Several police officers kept an eye on the crowd from behind portable metal barricades.
Although the protesters were generally quiet, they erupted into cheers each time another person walked out of the station, welcoming them with hugs, high-fives, cigarettes and food.
As one man who was released walked past a group of police officers, he said, "See you guys tomorrow" and uttered an expletive at them. The officers didn't react.
Most of those who have been released were cited with violating city ordinances, but some have been released without charges.
Noah Brooks, 27, of New Jersey, said he was arrested around 11:30 p.m. while taking photos of fellow protesters as they marched out of the Loop.
Police "kept rushing up and grabbing people, so I kept going back to take pictures of it," Noah said moments after walking out of the station shirtless. "They just swarmed up and jumped on me."
He said the officers who arrested him told him he had disobeyed an order to disperse, and after he arrived at the station he was told he was suspected of trying to steal a jacket and sunglasses from a police car.
Despite the allegations, he was released without being cited or charged.
"They were pretty much just like, 'Did you learn your lesson?'" Brooks said as he dug his shirt and belt out of his backpack. "I was like, 'I guess.' Then they turned me loose."
Brooks said he didn't realize other protesters were camped outside the station until he walked out and saw them cheering.
"Walking out to that was really cool," he said.
Chelsey Sprengeler, 19, was released a short time later. She said she was arrested Sunday evening after she sat on the ground and refused to move while police tried to clear protesters from the area along Cermak Road near
where an anti-war march culminated in a rally.
Sprengeler, a student at the
, said she didn't regret getting arrested.
"We wanted to continue our protest, and we didn't want to be told when to leave," she said after she was released around 3 a.m. She said she is due in court next month but isn't sure of the charge that was filed against her.
She also said she tried to be as cordial as possible with police after she was arrested because she wanted them to realize that her protest was directed against NATO and other world organizations and leaders, not them.
"There are a lot of issues -- person against person, us against the police -- and it shouldn't be that way," she said.