Occupy Wall Street protests go global

Under the slogan “From Tahrir Square to Times Square,” the Occupy Wall Street movement reports demonstrations in over 1,500 cities across the globe Oct. 15, including over 100 US cities from coast to coast. In New York, 74 were arrested as police attempted to block thousands of marchers behind barricades in the Times Square area, where the protesters had marched from the Financial District. In the evening, hundreds of protesters converged on Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, staying until police arrested 14 for violating the park’s curfew after midnight. Another 24 were arrested after they entered a nearby Citibank, with the aim of closing their accounts en masse. Management said they called police after the protesters did not respond to a request to leave. (Fox News, Oct. 14; Daily News, New York Post, WSJ, Oct. 15)

“People of Europe: Rise Up!”
Violence broke out at protests in Italy. Following a thousands-strong march in Rome, riot police fired tear gas and water cannons as a breakaway group of masked youth smashed bank windows and ATMs. The youth hurled rocks, bottles and Molotov cocktails at police. In Milan, a similar faction stormed into the office of Goldman Sachs, leaving graffiti on corridor walls before they were dispersed. “People of Europe: Rise Up!” read one banner in Rome. (AP, Global Post, Oct. 15)

In London, some 500 established an encampment outside St. Paul’s Cathedral after a day of protest in the financial district that brought out thousands. Similar encampments are reported from elsewhere in the United Kingdom, with some 200 tents pitched outside the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Edinburgh headquarters. (BBC, Oct. 16; STV, Oct. 15)

In Paris, protests coincided with the G20 finance chiefs’ meeting in the city. Hundreds marched from the working class neighborhood of Belleville to the city hall. Three days earlier, thousands marched in cities across France in response to government austerity plans. (Economic Times, Oct. 15; Irish Times, Oct. 12)

Tens of thousands flooded streets across Germany. In Berlin, 20,000 marched on the Federal Parliament, while some 5,000 gathered in front of the European Central Bank building in Frankfurt. Marches were also reported from Munich, Hamburg, Hannover, Cologne, Leipzig and Stuttgart. (Xinhua, Oct. 16)

Video footage of thousands marching on’s Madrid‘s Puerta del Sol was posted to YouTube. Similar numbers also came out in Barcelona, Seville, Valencia and Malaga. (AP, Oct. 16) In Athens, several thousand rallied outside the parliament building under the slogan “Down with the government-EU-IMF”—a reference to budget cuts imposed on Greece by the European Union and International Monetary Fund. (AFP, Oct. 16)

Hundreds also marched in Brussels, Vienna and Prague—where a tense stand-off ensued when police attempted to bar protesters from marching on Prague Castle, the Czech Republic‘s presidential seat. (AP, Oct. 16; Ceské Noviny, Oct. 15) In the ex-Yugoslavia, hundreds-strong protests were reported from Zagreb, Belgrade and Sarajevo alike, as well as the Montenegrin capital of Podgorica. (Focus Information Agency, Oct. 15) Footage of the “Occupy Zagreb” protests is online at YouTube and 15OctoberCroatia.

Asia, Oceania, Africa…
In South Korea, 600 converged on Seoul’s city hall, changing the location of the protest at the last minute after police banned the rally. In Tokyo, some 200 gathered in Hibiya Park, historically a forum for expressions of social discontent in Japan. In Taiwan, several hundred held a sit-in outside the Taipei World Financial Center. In Hong Kong, about 200 gathered at the Exchange Square Podium in the city’s central business district. In Jakarta, Indonesia, some two dozen people—some wearing masks—gathered near the US embassy. The Philippines also saw a march on the US embassy in Manila, where protesters denounced “US imperialism” and “wars of aggression.” (WSJ CNN via Ria-Novosti WSJ’s JapanRealTime blog, Oct. 15)

In Australia, some 800 gathered in Sydney’s central business district, chanting “Human need, not corporate greed.” Protesters will camp outside the Reserve Bank of Australia indefinitely “to organize, discuss and build a movement for a different world, not run by the super-rich 1%,” according to a statement on the Occupy Sydney website. There were protests in several other Australian cities, with 1,000 gathering in Melbourne. In New Zealand, hundreds launched what they say will be ongoing occupations of Queen Street in Auckland and Civic Square in Wellington. (Radio Australia, Oct. 16; Bikyamasr, Oct. 15)

In South Africa, 80 people gathered at the Johannesburg Securities Exchange, despite police efforts to declare the gathering illegal. Similar numbers are reported from Nairobi, Kenya. (CNN via Ria-Novosti, Oct. 14; Bloomberg, Oct. 15)

…and across the Americas
In Mexico, hundreds gathered under the capital‘s towering Monument of the Revolution. Some 100 also marched through the banking district in the border city of Tijuana. (AP, Oct. 15) In South America, hundreds marched in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and and Caracas, Venezuela. (Forbes, CNBC, Oct. 15) In Canada, ongoing occupations have been declared in Toronto’s St. James Park and Ottawa’s Confederation Park. Thousands also marched through the financial districts of Montreal and Vancouver. (CBC, Bloomberg, Oct. 15)

Every major US city occupied
Over 2,000 protesters filled Seattle’s Westlake Park, where there were several arrests. Scores were also arrested in Denver, San Diego and Sacramento, where police broke up public encampments. Hundreds marched in downtown Oakland, and over a thousand on San Francisco’s Market Street. Some 5,000 came out in Los Angeles, 1,000 in Miami and 200 in Atlanta. Some 200 were arrested in Chicago as police cleared an encampment from Grant Park. Protesters in Des Moines averted a confrontation by agreeing to move their campsite from the Iowa statehouse grounds to a nearby city park. In Trenton, NJ, protesters were ordered to remove tents near a war memorial. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick visited protesters occupying Boston’s Dewey Square for the first time. (AP, Chicago Tribune, Oct. 16; Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Reuters, WSJ, AP, AP, West Seattle Herald, Des Moines Register, Oct. 15; CNN, Oct. 14 )

In one of many protests in small towns across the country, the Vermont Workers’ Center held a rally at the Farmer’s Market in Rutland. (VWC, Oct. 15)

Expanded from round-up by Occupy Wall Street

See our last post on the global econo-protests.

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