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Wall Street protests spread to other cities
Protests inspired by "Occupy Wall Street" movement have emerged in Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2011 06:17
Demonstrators from the "Occupy Wall Street" campaign protest outside New York City's police headquarters [Reuters]

Members of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement have vowed to stay through winter in a park near New York's iconic financial district, where they are protesting issues including the 2008 bank bailouts, foreclosures and high unemployment in the United States.

Protests inspired by New York's have emerged in other US cities in recent days, including Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

A group in Boston has taken on the tactics of New York's protesters and on Friday night set itself up in the city's Dewey Square. Activists remained camped out at what they called "the heart of the financial district" on Saturday.


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"We are establishing our subsection of a national dialogue on finance reform and governance reform," Nadeem Mazen, an organiser with Occupy Boston, told Al Jazeera.

Mazen said that the Boston protest quickly drew a thousand people. "It shows that we're experienced and that we've all been independently thinking about what change we want to see. .. I think we're all very hungry for change."

The New York campaign is based in Zuccotti Park - formerly Liberty Plaza Park - just across from the World Trade Center site.

The movement has gained the support of five New York labour unions, as well as celebrities and academics such as Susan Sarandon, Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, Cornel West, rapper Lupe Fiasco and the musical group Radiohead.

Friday protest

More than 1,000 demonstrators, who have camped out in New York's financial centre for over two weeks, marched on Friday to New York's police headquarters to protest to what they viewed as a heavy-handed police response earlier on in their demonstration.

Some held banners criticising police, while others chanted: "We are the 99 per cent" and "The banks got bailed out, we got sold out".

Police observed Friday's march and kept protesters on the sidewalk, but no clashes were reported. They said no arrests were made before protesters dispersed from the police headquarters after the march by 8pm.

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"No to the NYPD crackdown on Wall Street protesters," organisers had said on their website, promoting the march.

Other online flyers for the march critiqued local police policies: "No to Stop-and-Frisk in Black & Latino neighborhoods" and "No to Spying and Harassment of Muslim Communities".

The protest came less than a week after police arrested 80 Occupy Wall Street members during a march toward a main shopping district - the most arrests by New York police at a demonstration since hundreds were detained outside the Republican National Convention (RNC) in 2004.

A city police commander used pepper spray on four women at last weekend's march and a video of the incident subsequently went viral on the internet, angering many protesters who vowed to continue their protests indefinitely.

The same commander was accused of false arrests and civil rights violations after incidents with protesters during the 2004 RNC police response.

Source:
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