Monday 23 October 2017

'OccupyWall Street' protest turns from local to global

Rachael ALexander in New York

The month-old Occupy Wall Street campaign gained new momentum last night, with cash donations rolling in and the drawing of global attention to what it sees as major economic inequalities.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed sympathy with the protesters, and even China acknowledged that some issues raised were worth considering.

From a few dozen people camping out in a small Manhattan park near the rising World Trade Centre complex, the movement swelled to hundreds of thousands of people rallying around the world last weekend and numerous encampments springing up in cities large and small.

Hundreds of protesters today mingled with bemused bank workers in a new tent camp outside St Paul's Cathedral in London. But in Seattle, police arrested people who would not move their tents from a park.

The UN leader said the finance chiefs from the Group of 20 rich and developing nations, now meeting in Paris, should listen to the demonstrators.

"Business as usual, or just looking at their own internal economic issues, will not give any answers to a very serious international economic crisis," Mr Ban said. "That is what you are seeing all around the world, starting from Wall Street, people are showing their frustrations, are trying to send a very clear and unambiguous message around the world."

The largest of last Saturday's protests were in Europe, linking up with long-running demonstrations against government austerity measures. In Rome, hundreds of rioters infiltrated a march by tens of thousands of demonstrators.

Hundreds of thousands turned out in peaceful protests across the continent, including in Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Britain, Austria and France.

Irish Independent

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