Massive Marches on Wall Street as Protests Shake the World; Assange Speaks in London

 Occupy Wall Street won big yesterday when Bloomberg and the owners of Zucotti Park opted to postpone their "clean-up"—and avoid confrontation that some protesters feared would provoke violence towards them. Today, Occupy Wall Street spreads to a thousand cities across six continents, and there's presently a massive protest in New York attended by thousands, many of whom are closing their accounts with big banks along the way. The best way to keep up with realtime happenings is, of course, twitter (we're feeling the missives from TheOther99), but there are a lot of updates from around the world:

At Occupy Tokyo—where, writes Mishima, "anger against the moneyed class doesn't usually exist"—protests were held across the city, including near Goldman Sachs branch and near the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. Unsurprisingly, some of the anti-Wall Street signs were combined with a disdain for nukes. 

In London, thousands took to the streets for a march and protest... and guess who showed up? Julian Assange, who arrived by escort wearing the Guy Fawkes mask that hacktivist group Anonymous has adopted as its unofficial mascot. "Wherever corruption starts in the world," he said, "It ends in London." Watch:

 

In Rome, things were moderately less peaceful, as some of the 100,000 protesters who showed began rioting and cops deployed water cannons and tear gas, although it's unclear which came first. Global TV:

 

Black smoke billowed into the air in downtown Rome as a small group broke away from the main demonstration and wreaked havoc in streets closed to the Colosseum.

Protesters clad in black with their faces covered threw rocks, bottles and other objects at police in riot gear. Some had held clubs, others had hammers. They threw an incendiary devices and firecrackers at banks, destroyed bank ATMs and set trash bins on fire, news reports said.

Two news crews from Sky Italia were assaulted.

TV footage showed police in riot gear charging the protesters and firing water cannons at them.

The ANSA news agency said some protesters trashed offices of the Defence Ministry and of a labour agency, smashing windows with clubs and setting cars on fire.

Occupy San Francisco protesters had the chance to heckle Rupert Murdoch last night, as he delivered a keynote speech at a San Francisco hotel lambasting the public education system. Uh, and they were dressed as Sesame Street characters.

In Denver, two dozen were arrested after refusing to leave the public land they'd been occupying for three weeks. 

Stay tuned for updates as more reports filter in. 

 

 

 

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at October 15, 2011, 6:09am

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