OAKLAND (CBS SF / AP) — ‘Occupy’ protests drew thousands of demonstrators in the Bay Area, Sacramento and Los Angeles, and in major cities across the country and around the world
An estimated 2,500-3000 people came out to join the growing Occupy Oakland movement Saturday, demonstrations that began five days ago as an offshoot of New York City’s Occupy Wall Street protests.
Actor Danny Glover is to lead “Jobs Not Cuts” march Saturday afternoon from Laney College to the Oakland encampment, where he joined the mayors of Oakland, Berkeley and Richmond.
PHOTOS: Bay Area ‘Occupy’ Protests
More than 500 people attended Friday’s Occupy Oakland demonstrations, which, like similar occupations, have spoken out against corporate greed and expressed outage against “a societal model that has little value for the overwhelming majority of the people,” organizers said.
On Monday afternoon, Occupy Oakland protesters converged on Frank Ogawa Plaza, their tents dotting the lawn in front of Oakland City Hall.
As with similar occupations occurring across the Bay Area and the nation, the amorphous movement has attracted many different types of demonstrators.
Organizers say that the movement has emphasized solidarity that is blind to political affiliations and identity based on location, culture or race.
Some Bay Area elected officials have voiced their support for the area’s rallies, including San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos, who is running for mayor in that city. Avalos spoke of the Occupy SF protests and demanded accountability from corporate banks in an on-camera interview with Current TV’s Keith Olbermann this week.
At a Richmond demonstration Thursday, Mayor Gayle McLaughlin said she supported her city’s rally as well as the entire Occupy Wall Street movement.
McLaughlin said that she and some City Council members stand against corporate domination and won their elections without accepting corporate money.
Occupy San Francisco organized a so-called Occupy Together Solidarity March Saturday afternoon.
In Sacramento, more than 1,000 people were expected to march to the Capitol and the downtown area. Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan was scheduled to speak at Cesar Chavez Park.
Thousands of demonstrators were marching through the streets of downtown Los Angeles in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York and cities around the nation.
“Occupy” organizers have been urging people to protest across the globe and across the country.
“Occupy wall street” started four weeks ago in New York City rallying against corporate power and government inaction.
Meantime, Italian riot police fired tear gas and water cannons Saturday in Rome as violent protesters hijacked a peaceful demonstration against corporate greed, smashing bank windows, torching cars and hurling bottles.
Elsewhere, hundreds of thousands nicknamed “the indignant” marched without incident in cities across Europe, as the “Occupy Wall Street” protests linked up with long-running demonstrations against European governments’ austerity measures.
In Spain, the Indignant Movement that began around-the-clock “occupation” protest camps in May which lasted for weeks held evening marches Saturday that converged on Madrid’s Puerta del Sol plaza.
Other Spanish cities including Barcelona, Seville, Valencia and Malaga hosted similarly well-attended gatherings.”
Portuguese protesters angry at their government’s handling of the economic crisis pushed against police lines in Lisbon, but officers stopped them from storming parliament. Portugal is one of three European nations — along with Greece and Ireland — that has had to accept an international bailout.
In Frankfurt, continental Europe’s financial hub, 5,000 people protested at the European Central Bank, with some setting up a tent camp in front of the ECB building.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange spoke to protesters outside St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, calling the international banking system a “recipient of corrupt money.”
The London demonstration swelled to several thousand people by early evening, and police said three were arrested. While protesters erected tents and gathered blankets, food and water to settle down for the evening, police urged them to leave, saying cathedral staff needed to prepare for Sunday services.
In Paris, marchers shook their fists and shouted as they passed the city’s historic stock exchange, before congregating by the hundreds outside the ornate City Hall.
“Stand up Paris! Rise Up!” protesters shouted. “Sharing will save the world!”
The Greek capital of Athens has seen near-daily strikes and protests as the government fights to avoid bankruptcy, and Saturday was no different. Some 2,000 rallied outside parliament against a new austerity package being voted upon on Thursday, while teachers and civil servants held marches elsewhere in the city. In Thessaloniki, Greece’s second city, 3,000 took part in a peaceful protest.
Several hundreds more marched in the German cities of Berlin, Cologne and Munich and the Austrian capital of Vienna, while protesters in Zurich, Switzerland’s financial hub, carried banners reading “We won’t bail you out yet again” and “We are the 99 percent.”
That referred to the world’s richest one percent, who control billions in assets while billions of others are struggling to make ends meet.
In Brussels, thousands of marched through the downtown chanting “Criminal bankers caused this crisis!” and pelted the stock exchange building with old shoes.
Protesters also accused NATO, which has its headquarters in Brussels, of wasting taxpayer money on the wars in Libya and Afghanistan, saying that one European soldier deployed to Afghanistan costs the equivalent of 11 high school teachers.
Some 300 activists rallied in Helsinki with homemade signs and stalls full of art and food.
In Canada, hundreds protested near the Toronto Stock Exchange and the headquarters of major Canadian banks to decry what they called government-abetted corporate greed. Protests were also being held in Montreal, Vancouver, Halifax and Winnipeg.
In New York, hundreds marched on a Chase bank to protest the role banks played in the financial crisis, and demonstrations culminated in an “Occupation Party” in Times Square.
In South Africa, about 50 activists rallied outside the Johannesburg Stock Exchange to demand more jobs, free education and universal health care.
Support for the anti-capitalist protest movement was light in Asia, where the global economy is booming. About 300 people turned out in Sydney, while another 200 chanted anti-nuclear slogans outside the Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the tsunami-hit Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant. In the Philippines, 100 people marched on the U.S. Embassy in Manila.
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