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Activists refuse to go home as police arrest 700 on Wall Street

THE protesters eat donated food, keep their laptops running with a portable gas-powered generator and have their own newspaper - the Occupied Wall Street Journal .

They also have a makeshift hospital, have been growing in numbers, getting more organised and showing no signs of quitting.They lack a clear objective, but speak against corporate greed, social inequality, global climate change and other concerns.

New York City officials "thought we were going to leave and we haven't left," 19-year-old Kira Moyer-Sims said. "We're going to stay as long as we can."

The arrests of more than 700 people on Saturday as thousands tried to cross the Brooklyn Bridge seemed to pour oil on the rage of those who camped out overnight in Zuccotti Park, a private plaza off Broadway, near Wall Street.

The growing, cross-country movement "signals a shift in consciousness," said Jared Schy, a young man sitting squeezed between three others who participated in Saturday's march from the Financial District to the bridge.


"We don't care whether mainstream media covers this or people see us on television. What counts are the more than 30,000 viewers following our on-line live stream," he said. "We heard from a lot of them, and they're joining us now."

The Occupy Wall Street demonstration started out last month with fewer than a dozen college students spending days and nights in Zuccotti Park. It has grown significantly, both in New York City and elsewhere as people across the US, from Boston to Los Angeles, display their solidarity in similar protests.

Ms Moyer-Sims, of Oregon, said the group had grown much more organised. "We have a protocol for most things," she said, including getting legal help for people who are arrested.

The protest has drawn activists of diverse ages and occupations, including Jackie Fellner, a marketing manager from Westchester County, north of New York City.

"We're not here to take down Wall Street. It's not poor against rich. It's about big money dictating which politicians get elected," she said.