First it was Wall Street. Then it spread to major cities like L.A., Miami, Chicago and Atlanta. Then Middle America jumped in the mix. And now Occupy Wall Street has reportedly spread to 81 other countries worldwide.
The Occupy Wall Street movement spilled onto main streets in Europe, Asia and Australia on Saturday as crowds chanted and marched in a global movement of discontent.
“People of the world, rise up on October 15th,” said United for Global Change — the central site for the international movement. “It’s time for us to unite. It’s time for them to listen.”
The group said 951 cities in 82 countries will take part in the rallies after online organizers called for a worldwide rally.
People rallied in Europe, including the cities of London, Zurich and Rome.
In Japan, about 200 people marched through Tokyo carrying various signs, including “No More Nukes and “Free Tibet.” The crowd included children jumping and skipping behind the adults. Some protesters wore costumes — including a giant panda.
“I’m here because young Japanese people are suffering for losing their jobs, but not many speak out their issue to the public,” said Kesao Murakami. “I really want to young people appeal forcefully to the public saying, ‘We are in trouble.”
In South Korea, Arthur Fragoso rallied with a small group outside a bank in Seoul. He said his protest is a solidarity move with the Occupy movement and not a reflection of any discontent against his government.
“We are protesting mostly for economic issues worldwide,” he said. “We need to come up with ideas to solve the world problems.”
In the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, about two dozen people — some wearing masks — gathered near the U.S. Embassy.
“We wanted to show that the American regime, its system of imperialism needs to be destroyed,” said Rudi Daman, leader of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle.
The group urged its chapters to stage a global day of action against “imperialist plunder, repression and war.”
Wait. The whole world is uniting in protest against OUR government?
Australian cities of Melbourne and Sydney joined rallies against “corporate greed” as protesters aligned themselves with the global movement.
“Our protests are to show our solidarity with Occupy Wall Street and also protest various problems — from indigenous issues in this country to government problems,” said Alex Gard, one of the Melbourne organizers. “We know we have it better than the protesters in the States … but there are still problems in this country.”
Organizers urged protesters to bring sleeping bags and other soft items to sleep on.
“I’ve heard people say they plan to be there for days, even months,” Gard said.
Organizers worldwide started social media pages on Facebook and Twitter devoted to “October 15” — #O15 on Twitter — urging protesters to join the global call for protests.
Protests were planned in other countries, including major cities in Kenya, South Africa, Britain, France, Russia, Mexico and Venezuela.
It’s great to see young people the world over standing up for something… Now if we could just talk about what it’s going to take to bring the protests to an end. “Corporate Greed” doesn’t really have a one-item fix like overthrowing a dictator…