Rallies rippled across the globe on Saturday as more than 900 cities in Europe, Africa, Asia, and North America took part in the worldwide demonstration, including Washington, Toronto, Denver, and Chicago, where more than 175 people were arrested early Sunday for failing to leave a park after it closed.
In cities around the world, a fraction of the protesters who joined the rallies Saturday were hunkering down for a second night of “occupation.”
It’s unclear how long protesters plan to stay, but it could be awhile: for example, according to local reports, hundreds in New Zealand are camping for the next six weeks in Auckland’s Aotea Square, while Toronto’s St. James park is now known as “tent city central.”
In London, the cobblestone courtyard of St. Paul’s Cathedral, one of the city’s most iconic buildings, was filled with about 70 colorful tents and demonstrators who vowed to protest indefinitely.
Sitting next to her 11-month-old daughter on a blanket covered with toys, Lucy Aitken Read, a 29-year-old charity worker, said she hoped to attend the rally every day. “We hope to last the distance,” she said, adding “I really believe in a kind of fair and equal society and I’m here especially today because I think it’s really within our grasp.”
The worldwide uproar was inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement and Spanish activists, known as “the Indignants,” who began protesting in May, arguing for governments to stop heeding the concerns of financial markets while ignoring the plights of their own people.
The Occupy Wall Street movement turned one month old Monday, and has $300,000 in a growing war chest to celebrate. As AP reported:
The month-old Occupy Wall Street movement continues to grow, with nearly $300,000 in the bank and participants finding satisfaction in the widening impact they hope will counter the influence on society by those who hold the purse strings of the world’s economies.
The expanding occupation of land once limited to a small Manhattan park in the shadow of the rising World Trade Center complex continued through the weekend, with hundreds of thousands of people rallying around the world and numerous encampments springing up in cities large and small.
Will President Obama give his support to the Occupy Wall Street movement? As Ezra Klein reported:
Since its launch, Occupy Wall Street has gotten support from some high profile, and occasionally even unexpected, sympathizers. Neutral Milk Hotel's Jeff Mangum headed down to the protest to play a set. Kanye West and Russell Simmons toured Zuccotti Park. Personal-finance guru Suze Orman wrote to "public say thank you" to the protesters. Mohammed el-Erian, who leads one of the largest bond trading firms in the world, declared himself in agreement with the protester's desire to shrink the finance sector.