NEW YORK — The protesters at the heart of the Occupy Wall Street movement were planning a day of rest Sunday, a day after rallies across the globe drew thousands who marched and chanted and, in some cases, grew violent.
In New York City, the group that insists on being leaderless had nothing on its agenda save its nightly assembly and one committee meeting. In the weeks that the protesters have occupied a park in lower Manhattan, Sundays have been used to recuperate.
In Chicago, Sunday began with much more activity. At least 175 people were arrested in the early hours after refusing to obey a police order to leave a park that closed at 11 p.m.. They were in somewhat of a contrast to demonstrators elsewhere, who have taken care to follow laws in order to continue protesting. Still, the arrests were mostly peaceful, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Over the course of what was billed as "a global day of protest" Saturday, demonstrators gathered in cities throughout the world to rally against what they see as corporate greed and Wall Street's role in the financial crisis. In Rome, rioters hijacked what had been a peaceful gathering and smashed windows, tore up sidewalks and torched vehicles. Repair costs were estimated at $1.4 million, the mayor said Sunday.
But most of the marches remained largely nonconfrontational, though dozens were arrested in New York and elsewhere in the U.S. when police moved to contain overflowing crowds or keep them off private property. Two officers in New York were injured and had to be hospitalized.
In the city's Times Square, thousands of demonstrators mixed with gawkers, Broadway showgoers, tourists and police to create a chaotic scene in the midst of Manhattan.
"Banks got bailed out, we got sold out!" protesters chanted from within police barricades. Police, some in riot gear and mounted on horses, tried to push them out of the square and onto the sidewalks in an attempt to funnel the crowds away.
Sandra Fox, 69, of Baton Rouge, La., stood, confused, on 46th Street with a ticket for "Anything Goes" in her hand as riot police pushed a knot of about 200 shouting protesters toward her.
"It's horrible what they're doing," she said of the protesters. "These people need to go get jobs."
Earlier, two dozen were arrested when demonstrators entered a Citibank branch and refused to leave, police said. They asked the branch to close until the protesters could be taken away.
As many as 1,000 demonstrators also paraded to a Chase bank branch, banging drums, blowing horns and carrying signs decrying corporate greed. A few went inside the bank to close their accounts, but the group didn't stop other customers from getting inside or seek to blockade the business.
Lily Paulina of Brooklyn 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," the 29-year-old United Auto Workers organizer said.
Police told the marchers to stay on the sidewalk, and the demonstration seemed fairly orderly as it wound through downtown streets.
Sergio Jimenez, 25, said he quit his job in Texas to come to New York to protest. He participated in an anti-war march to mark the 10th anniversary of the Afghanistan War.
"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 ways to respond to terror, instead of with terror."
Throughout the country — from several dozen people in Jackson, Miss., to some 2,000 each in Pittsburgh and Chicago — the protest gained momentum.
Nearly 1,500 gathered for a march past banks in downtown Orlando, Fla. Hundreds marched on a Key Bank branch in Anchorage and declared it should be foreclosed. In Arizona, reporters and protesters saw an estimated 40 people detained around midnight at a park in Phoenix.
In Colorado, about 1,000 people rallied in downtown Denver to support Occupy Wall Street and at least two dozen were arrested.
Rallies drew young and old, laborers and retirees. In Pittsburgh, marchers included parents with children in strollers. The peaceful crowd stretched for two or three blocks.
"I see our members losing jobs. People are angry," said Janet Hill, 49, who works for the United Steelworkers, which she said hosted a sign-making event before the march.
Retired teacher Albert Siemsen said at a demonstration in Milwaukee that he'd grown angry watching school funding get cut at the same time banks and corporations gained more influence in government. The 81-year-old wants to see tighter Wall Street regulation.
Around him, protesters held signs reading: "Keep your corporate hands off my government," and "Mr. Obama, Tear Down That Wall Street."
And in the heart of Toronto's financial district, hundreds protested, some announcing plans to camp out indefinitely.1 comment on this story
Overseas, 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.
Associated Press writers Bob Seavey in Phoenix, Kevin Begos in Pittsburgh, Dinesh Ramde in Milwaukee, Charmaine Noronha in Toronto, Jack Elliott Jr. in Jackson, Miss., and Colleen Long, David B. Caruso and AP Radio correspondent Martin Di Caro in New York contributed to this report.