Posted by: maboulette | October 15, 2011

ANTI-WALL STREET PROTESTERS MARCH THROUGH NEW YORK


Media team volunteers at the Occupy Wall Stree...

 Reuters33 mins ago

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Anti-Wall Street protesters marched through Lower Manhattan on Saturday ahead of a planned rally in Times Square, buoyed by global support for their month long demonstration against economic inequality.

Protests inspired by the grass-roots Occupy Wall Street movement were also planned or under way in dozens of other U.S. cities as part of a global day of action that has seen demonstrations throughout Asia and Europe.

About 2,000 people marched throughout New York’s financial district, banging drums and chanting, “We got sold out, banks got bailed out,” “All day, all week, occupy Wall Street,” and “Hey hey, ho ho, corporate greed has got to go.”

“It’s not every day that you get to be at the most significant uprising in a generation,” Occupy Wall Street said on its Facebook page. Protesters said they did not have any police permits for the New York demonstrations.

Police were directing protesters to stay on the sidewalk, saying they would arrest anyone who did not keep moving.

The marchers, who say their movement has no leader, were making their way to Times Square for a rally at 5 p.m., a time when the area is crowded with tourists and Broadway theatergoers.

“At the present time, Broadway matinee and evening shows will go on as scheduled,” Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League, said in a statement.

“We will work closely with the proper authorities to keep Times Square safe for everyone.”

The movement began when dozens of protesters set up camp in a park near Wall Street in Lower Manhattan on September 17, but it was unclear whether it would sustain momentum beyond Saturday’s global protests. Critics have accused the group of not having a clear message about what they want to achieve.

The protesters say they are upset that the billions of dollars in bank bailouts doled out during the recession allowed banks to resume earning huge profits while average Americans have had no relief from high unemployment and job insecurity.

They also believe the richest 1 percent of Americans do not pay their fair share in taxes.

“These protests are already making a difference,” said Jordan Smith, 25, a former substance abuse counselor from San Francisco, who has been at the New York park for 10 days. “The dialogue is now happening all over the world.”

In Toronto, where the largest of several Canadian protests was expected to take place, a couple of thousand people gathered peacefully in St. James park, a few blocks east of the city’s financial district.

Hundreds of people have been arrested at rallies in New York and police have used pepper spray. Hundreds more have also been arrested from Boston and Washington to Denver, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego and Austin, Texas.

“I am from Greece and the same thing is happening there. Capitalism doesn’t do the right thing for the people. We need to build something for the future,” said Vasiliki Diodis, 44, from Athens, as she watched the New York protests march past her hair salon.

On Friday a showdown between protesters and police was averted when the private owner of the publicly accessible Zuccotti Park, Brookfield Office Properties, postponed a cleanup. The Occupy Wall Street movement feared the cleanup was a ruse to remove them from the area.

“I’m here because I have $120,000 in debt, where’s my damn bailout?” said Kasia Witek, 30, who is studying design and technology at The New School. 

By Edith Honan and Ed McAllister


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