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"Occupy Wall Street" protests spread to cities worldwide (2)


09:36, October 16, 2011

The Occupy Wall Street protests emerged on Sept. 17, with only a few dozen demonstrators -- mostly young people -- trying to erect tents before the New York Stock Exchange. With access denied by the police, they turned to Zuccotti Park, just two blocks away from Wall Street and owned by Brookfield Office Properties, a multinational real estate corporation, as their camping ground.

The number of participants has since grown to hundreds, with such facilities as food stand, mini-library and makeshift hospital set up on site. They even started to publish their own newspaper, ironically titled "The Occupied Wall Street Journal."

The protesters speak against corporate greed, social inequality, global climate change and other problems, but have so far failed to render any clear political demand or reform scheme. Nevertheless, they have found vehement support from people of various walks of life, as an increasing number of Americans are frustrated by the country's slow recovery from the three-year recession and persisting high unemployment rate of 9.1 percent.

The Occupy Wall Street protesters on Friday avoided a showdown with the police, as the government backed off at the last minute from an earlier plan to evict them from their campsite at Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan.

On Saturday, peaceful demonstrators also took to streets in other cities worldwide, including Frankfurt, Athens, Oslo, Amsterdam, Kuala Lumpur, and Ottawa, Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec in Canada, protesting against widening wealth disparity, corporate greed and its influence in politics.

In Rome, capital of Italy, the protests became violent as groups of protesters clashed with police during the global "Occupy Wall Street Day" demonstrations.

Over 70 people were injured in the clashes and 45 of them were hospitalized, including police officers and local residents. One of the injured lost two of his fingers in a small explosion.

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