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Protests spreading throughout US

Anti-Wall Street demonstrators have marched again in New York City, tramping through the streets of the financial district to protest at the role big banks played in the US financial crisis.

And marchers emulated them in protests throughout the US and abroad.

As many as 1,000 protesters in Manhattan paraded to a Chase bank branch, banging drums, blowing horns and carrying signs decrying corporate greed. "Banks got bailed out. We got sold out," the crowd chanted.

A few protesters went inside the bank to close their accounts, but the group did not stop other customers from getting inside or seek to blockade the business.

Police told the marchers to stay on the pavement, and the demonstration appeared to be fairly orderly as it wound through streets. Later, police arrested 24 people at a Citibank branch near Manhattan's Washington Square Park. Most were detained for trespassing after they ignored a request by the bank to leave, police said.

Other demonstrations were planned around the city, including an anti-war march to mark the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan.

The weekend brought out protesters throughout the US. Nearly 1,500 gathered for a march past banks in Orlando, Florida. About 50 people ranging from college students to older people met in a park in Jackson, Mississippi, carrying signs calling for "Health Care Not Warfare." Organisers expected more people to come and go during the day.

Hundreds more converged near the Michigan state Capitol in Lansing with the same message, the Lansing State Journal reported.

Rallies drew young and old, labourers and pensioners. In Pittsburgh, marchers also included parents with children in buggies. The peaceful crowd of up to 2,000 stretched for two or three blocks.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick visited protesters in Boston's Dewey Square for the first time. He said that after walking through the camp, he better understands the range of views and was sympathetic to concerns about unemployment, health care and the influence of money in politics. And in Denver, a few thousand came to a rally downtown in support of the movement, KUSA-TV reported.


From Belfast Telegraph