18 Nov 2011

Hundreds arrested at US Occupy protests

More than 300 people have been arrested across the US as the Occupy movement against corporate greed marked two months of protests with a national day of action.

The largest demonstration was in New York City, where police arrested over 150 demonstrators on Thursday after they refused to end a blockade of a street in the city’s financial district.

The rally began with a coordinated effort to shut down the stock exchange. Later in the day several thousand people marched across the Brooklyn Bridge, where last month more than 700 people were arrested.

The movement sparked similar protests and camps against economic inequality across the country and internationally.

Tens of thousands of people renewed their efforts on Thursday to turn out in force in major cities all across the country.

“This is a great night for a revolution. I’ve never seen anything like this in my entire life,” said Daniel Reynolds, 34, a demonstrator in New York.

Protesters say they are angry that billions of dollars in bailouts given to banks during the recession allowed a return to huge profits while average Americans struggle from high unemployment and a sluggish economy.

Across the US demonstrators targeted bridges they considered in disrepair in cities such as Miami, Detroit and Boston to highlight what they said was the need for government spending on infrastructure projects to create jobs.

In St. Louis, more than 1,000 protesters marched through downtown in support of the Occupy St Louis movement that was evicted last week from its campsite near the Gateway Arch.

There were similar scenes at the University of California in Berkeley where police cleared a camp where 5,000 people had gathered on Tuesday night.

In Los Angeles, 80 people were arrested after hundreds of demonstrators marched through the financial district, blocking a downtown street.

Photo gallery: Occupy Wall Street eviction