The New York Times reports: In dozens of cities around the world on Saturday, people took to the streets, clutching placards and chanting slogans as part of a planned day of protests against the financial system.
In Rome, a protest thick with tension spread over several miles. Protesters set fire to at least one building and clashed violently with the police, who responded with water cannons and tear gas.
In other European cities, including Berlin and London, the demonstrations were largely peaceful, with thousands of people marching past ancient monuments and many gathering in front of capitalist symbols like the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. Elsewhere, the turnout was more modest, but rallies of a few hundred people were held in several cities, including Sydney, Australia, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Protests were also held in New York and several other cities in the United States and Canada.
But just as the rallies in New York have represented a variety of messages — signs have been held in opposition to President Obama yards away from signs in support — so Saturday’s protests contained a grab bag of messages, opposing nuclear power, political corruption and the privatization of water.
Despite the difference in language, landscape and scale, the protests were united in frustration with the widening gap between the rich and the poor.