The Occupy Wall Street protests, which began on 17 September in New York’s financial district, entered their second month on Monday with no signs of subsiding. Rather, the past three days have seen the protests gathering steam and spreading across continents—to Europe, Asia and Australia. The name was coined by Canadian magazine ‘AdBusters’ that went on to describe the Wall Street as the financial Gomorrah of the US after the biblical city synonymous with vice.
US organizers of the protests said their aim was to defend 99% of the US population against the wealthiest 1%. Their website is Occupywallst.org. Here is a look at how the demonstrations grew and transcended continental divides.
6 Oct, Portland
Occupy Wall Street protests start at Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan’s financial district with about 1,500 people. Protesters speak on financial and social inequality and hold assemblies daily, and marches frequently.
(From Left to Right) 3 Oct, New York ; 7 Oct London
Police arrest about 80 people, most for disorderly conduct, as Occupy Wall Street demonstrators march through lower Manhattan. At Union Square, police use orange netting to corral protesters. Some arrests are filmed and put online by Occupy Wall Street members.
17 Oct, Frankfurt
After marching through the financial district, several hundred Occupy Wall Street protesters return to Zuccotti Park to an unexpected visit from filmmaker activist Michael Moore, who tells the crowd that they are the start of something big. Other famous names who have visited the demonstration include actress Susan Sarandon and Princeton University professor Cornel West. Others express support in forums such as Twitter, including actor Alec Baldwin.
A march to Brooklyn turns chaotic when more than 700 protesters are arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge roadway. Solidarity protests start in other places in Albuquerque, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles.
15 Oct, Toronto
Major labor unions including AFL-CIO endorse the protests and join march in New York’s financial district.
About 4,000 protesters march in Portland, Oregon. More demonstrations unfold in Houston, Austin, Tampa, and San Francisco. Asked about Occupy Wall Street, President Barack Obama says: “I think it expresses the frustrations the American people feel, that we had the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, huge collateral damage all throughout the country.”
The protests spill over from North America to Europe. In London, some 3,000 people protest in the city’s financial district as part of the worldwide protest against alleged corporate greed. Protests were also reported from Rome (Italy), Dublin (Ireland), Frankfurt, Berlin, Hamburg, Leipzig (Germany), Madrid (Spain), Athens, Thessaloniki (Greece),Zurich (Switzerland), Lisbon and Oporto (Portugal). Portugal was the scene of the biggest reported protest action, with more than 20,000 marching in Lisbon and a similar number in Oporto, two days after the government announced a new batch of austerity measures.
17 Oct, Amsterdam
Small and peaceful rallies reported across the Asia-Pacific region—from Auckland in New Zealand and Sydney in Australia, where representatives of aboriginal groups,communists and trade unionists protested outside the central Reserve Bank of Australia. Hundreds marched in Tokyo and more than 100 people gathered at the Taipei stock exchange. In Hong Kong, home to the Asian headquarters of investment banks, including Goldman Sachs, more than 100 people gathered at Exchange Square in the central district. Protests were also reported from South Korea and the Philippines.
Protests continue in Hong Kong.
Compiled by Elizabeth Roche; Graphic by Sandeep Bhatnagar/Mint
Sources: AP, Reuters, BBC and www.slate.com