Mary Altaffer, Associated Press
NEW YORK — Demonstrators from the Occupy Wall Street encampment in New York City paraded to a Chase bank branch Saturday, banging drums, blowing horns and carrying signs decrying corporate greed. And marchers throughout the country emulated them in protests that ranged from about 50 people in Jackson, Miss., to a few thousand each in such larger cities as Denver and Pittsburgh.
"Banks got bailed out. We got sold out," the crowd of as many as 1,000 in Manhattan chanted. A few protesters went inside the bank to close their accounts, but they group didn't stop other customers from getting inside or seek to blockade the business.
Police told the marchers to stay on the sidewalk, but the demonstration appeared to be fairly orderly as it wound through downtown streets.
Later, police arrested 24 people at a Citibank branch near Manhattan's Washington Square Park. Most were detained for trespassing after they ignored a request by the bank to leave, police said.
Overseas, the protests turned violent in Rome, where police fired tear gas and water cannons as protesters turned the demonstration into a riot, smashing shop and bank windows, torching cars and hurling bottles. Dozens were injured.
Tens of thousands nicknamed "the indignant" marched in cities across Europe, as the protests that began in New York linked up with long-running demonstrations against government cost-cutting and failed financial policies in Europe. Protesters also turned out in Australia and Asia.
Stateside, among the demonstrators in New York withdrawing their money from Chase was Lily Paulina, 29, an organizer with the United Auto Workers union who lives in Brooklyn. She said she was taking her money out because she was upset that JPMorgan Chase was making billions of dollars, while its customers struggled with bank fees and home foreclosures.
"Chase bank is making tons of money off of everyone ... while people in the working class are fighting just to keep a living wage in their neighborhood," she said.
"We aren't going to be a part of this system that doesn't work for us," said another demonstrator withdrawing her money, 20-year-old Brooklyn College student Biola Jeje.
Other demonstrations were planned around the city all day Saturday, including an anti-war march to mark the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan.
Among the people participating in that march was Sergio Jimenez, 25, who said he quit his job in Texas to come to New York to protest.
"These wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were all based on lies," Jimenez said. "And if we're such an intelligent country, we should figure out other was to respond to terror, instead of with terror."
The weekend brought out protesters in other parts of the country as well for smaller demonstrations, and more rallies were planned in such cities as Little Rock, Ark., Providence, R.I.; and Seattle.
Nearly 1,500 gathered Saturday for a march past banks in downtown Orlando. About 50 people ranging from college students to older people met in a park in downtown Jackson, Miss., carrying signs calling for "Health Care Not Warfare." Organizers expected more people to come and go during the day.
Some made more considerable commitments to try to get their voices heard. Nearly 200 spent a cold night in tents in Grand Circus Park in Detroit, donning gloves, scarves and heavy coats to keep warm, said Helen Stockton, a 34-year-old certified midwife from Ypsilanti, and plan to remain there "as long as it takes to effect change."
"It's easy to ignore us," Stockton said. Then she referred to the financial institutions, saying, "But we are not going to ignore them. Every shiver in our bones reminds us of why we are here."
- Victim of sexual abuse sues Boy Scouts of...
- Most K-12 students are now low income
- Denver police shoot, kill teen who struck...
- House GOP moves toward possible lawsuit on...
- Private wells in California farm area show...
- Residents want charges for Denver officers...
- California bars judges from Boy Scouts...
- Prosecutors promise thorough probe of police...
- California bars judges from Boy Scouts... 91
- Kerry: Violent extremism is not Islamic 29
- Victim of sexual abuse sues Boy Scouts... 19
- 'Potentially historic' blizzard... 12
- Some Republican presidential hopefuls... 12
- Denver police shoot, kill teen who... 11
- VP Joe Biden: More access to higher ed... 10
- Most K-12 students are now low income 10