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Pattaya Daily News

17 October 2011 :: 11:10:35 am 59150

Protesters camp in London, Frankfurt after clashes

LONDON, October 16, 2011- Hundreds of protesters camped out in London, Frankfurt and Amsterdam on Sunday, with some vowing to settle in for the long term as part of their campaign against corporate greed and budget cuts.
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The three camps, each of them in the heart of the cities’ financial districts, sprang up a day after rallies in 80 countries inspired by the “Occupy Wall Street” movement and Spain’s “Indignants” campaign.

In London, several hundred anti-capitalist demonstrators camped in front of St Paul’s Cathedral, just metres (yards) away from the London Stock Exchange, under the tolerant gaze of the Reverend Dr Giles Fraser.

Asked about the protesters bedding down for a second night Fraser, Canon Chancellor of the cathedral, said: “We’ll see how it goes.

“We’re taking one day at a time and it’s really good to see it’s all worked out well for us today,” he added.

Roy Alexander, 39, who acted as an organiser for the occupation on the first day, said: “We’re planning to stay here indefinitely.

“We’ll stay here and make a stand. I think we’ll have more people join.”

The camp had already grown to about 70 tents late Sunday. A long table filled with cake, biscuits and bottles of water served as a makeshift kitchen, while a media tent and a medical centre were also on hand.

“Keep Calm And Occupy London”, read one banner. “Bail out people, Not the banks”, read another.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard declined to comment on whether the demonstration would be cleared in time for the Monday morning rush-hour.

In Amsterdam, around 300 people were camped out in the square in front of the stock exchange Sunday, one of the organisers, Seth Lievense, told AFP.

“At the moment, there are people who are very motivated to stay for a long time in the square,” he said.

“Days, nights, weeks — their desire for change is enormous.”

And in Frankfurt, around 200 people were camped in front of the European Central Bank, which has been in the eye of the storm over the euro, under threat by Europe’s ongoing debt crisis.

In Geneva, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday called on politicians to heed the protesters’ message.

“Their future is our future,” he told the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

“Let us listen to them, lest the coming decades be marked by an instability and alienation that undermine our prospects for peace, security and prosperity for all.”

Saturday’s protests passed off mostly peacefully. But in Rome a few hundred among tens of thousands of protesters set cars alight, smashed up banks and hurled rocks at riot police, who with tear gas and water cannons.

It was the worst street violence in Rome in years, with 135 injured, most of them police officers. Two protesters injured by explodings smoke bombs had fingers amputated. Police arrested 12 people.

There were clashes too in New York, where the “Occupy Wall Street” movement has gained pace and police made 92 arrests there.

Earlier Sunday, Chicago police detained 175 people as they cleared a protest camp in the city’s Grant Park.

Tens of thousands turned out at Saturday’s biggest rallies, in Lisbon, Madrid and Rome. In Lisbon alone, 50,000 marched on Saturday.

Some newspapers hailed what they saw as the birth of a new global movement.

“The Indignados movement rises again with global force,” Spain’s El Pais daily said.

Italy’s Repubblica columnist Eugenio Scalfari wrote: “The fact is there is now clearly an international movement. Its preface was the ‘Arab Spring’.

But Rome’s mayor Gianni Alemanno said the damage to public property from the riots the day before cane to a million euros ($1.4 million).

The Vatican deplored the destruction of a crucifix and a statue of the Virgin Mary at the 18th-century church of Santi Marcellino and Pietro in central Rome.

Major protests also took place at European Union institutions in Brussels, as well as in Athens, where anger is growing at the painful austerity programme imposed by international lenders in return for their bailout.

There were smaller mostly peaceful protests also in Geneva, Miami, Montenegro, Paris, Sarajevo, Serbia, Vienna and Zurich.

Thousands marched in Mexico, Peru and Chile and hundreds rallied in Hong Kong, the Japanese capital Tokyo and Sydney, Australia.

Reporter : AFP   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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