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Domino Effect: Wall Street protests go global; riots in Rome
With cars torched and banks attacked in Italian capital, over 40,000 march in Portugal and 4,000 rally in Athens, it would appear that the Wall Street protests have gone global.
October 16, 2011 10:17 by Reuters
In Sydney, about 2,000 people, including representatives of Aboriginal groups, communists and trade unionists, protested outside the central Reserve Bank of Australia.
Hundreds marched in Tokyo, including anti-nuclear protesters. In Manila a few dozen marched on the U.S. Embassy waving banners reading: “Down with U.S. imperialism” and “Philippines not for sale”.
Over 100 people gathered at the Taipei stock exchange, chanting “we are Taiwan’s 99 percent” and saying economic growth had only benefited firms while middle-class salaries barely covered soaring housing, education and health care costs.
In Hong Kong, home to the Asian headquarters of investment banks such as Goldman Sachs, over 100 people gathered at Exchange Square in the Central district. Students joined with retirees, holding banners that called banks a cancer.
Portugal was the scene of the biggest reported protest action with more than 20,000 marching in Lisbon and a similar number in the country’s second city Oporto, two days after the government announced a new batch of austerity measures.
Hundreds broke through a police cordon around the parliament in Lisbon to occupy its broad marble staircase. Riot police brought the situation under control without any more violence than some pushing and shoving.
“This debt is not ours!” and “IMF, get out of here now!”, demonstrators chanted. Banners read: “We are not merchandise in bankers’ hands!” or “No more rescue loans for banks!”
Around 4,000 Greeks with banners bearing slogans like “Greece is not for sale” staged an anti-austerity rally in Athens’ Syntagma Square, the scene of violent clashes between riot police and stone-throwing youths in June.
Many were furious at how austerity imposed by the government to reduce debt incurred by profligate spending and corruption had undermined the lives of ordinary Greeks.
“They have ruined our world, everything that people have conquered,” said Maria Kolozi, 56, a school teacher. “With the new measures they have taken they destroy ordinary wage earners. They should beat it.”
“What is happening in Greece now is the nightmare awaiting other countries in the future. Solidarity is the people’s weapon,” the Real Democracy protest group said.
In Paris, around 1,000 protesters rallied in front of city hall, coinciding with the G20 finance chiefs’ meeting, after coming in from the working class neighbourhood of Belleville where drummers, trumpeters and a tuba revved up the crowd.