Protesters in at least four U.S. cities who were part of a growing anti-Wall Street sentiment were arrested after refusing to obey police orders to leave public areas, including 175 people in Chicago, where the arrests brought about a new phase of civil disobedience, organizers there said Sunday.
The arrests were mostly peaceful and came as somewhat of a contrast to earlier demonstrations, where protesters took care to follow laws in order to continue protesting Wall Street's role in the financial crisis and other grievances. The arrests came after a day of protests in cities around the world where thousands gathered to rally against what they see as corporate greed.
Most of those marches Saturday were largely nonconfrontational, though dozens were arrested in New York and elsewhere not for refusing to obey orders but when police moved to contain overflowing crowds or keep them off private property. Two officers in New York were injured and had to be hospitalized.
At least one protest overseas grew violent. In Rome, rioters infiltrated a march Saturday by tens of thousands of demonstrators, hijacking what had been a peaceful gathering. In addition to the arrests in Chicago, 46 people in Phoenix were arrested for misdemeanor criminal trespass after refusing to leave a park, Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Trent Crump said. And police said some protesters were arrested after they remained in a Tucson, Ariz., park past the 10:30 p.m. closing time. An exact number wasn't available Sunday.
At least two dozen people were arrested at a rally that attracted hundreds to downtown Denver for refusing to move out of the street, police said.
In Minneapolis, sheriff's deputies tore down makeshift tents at a county government plaza but made no arrests, Minnesota Public Radio reported. Though the protesters are allowed to stay on the plaza all night, tents are banned.
In New York, two dozen were arrested when demonstrators entered a Citibank branch and refused to leave, police said. They asked the branch to close until the protesters could be taken away.
Earlier, as many as 1,000 demonstrators also paraded to a Chase bank branch, banging drums, blowing horns and carrying signs decrying corporate greed. A few went inside the bank to close their accounts, but the group didn't stop other customers from getting inside or seek to blockade the business.
Lily Paulina of Brooklyn said she was taking her money out because she was upset that JPMorgan Chase was making billions of dollars, while its customers struggled with bank fees and home foreclosures.
"Chase bank is making tons of money off of everyone while people in the working class are fighting just to keep a living wage in their neighborhood," the 29-year-old United Auto Workers organizer said.
Throughout the country -- from several dozen people in Jackson, Miss., to some 2,000 each in Pittsburgh and Chicago -- the protest gained momentum.
Nearly 1,500 gathered for a march past banks in downtown Orlando, Fla. Hundreds marched on a Key Bank branch in Anchorage and declared it should be foreclosed. In Arizona, reporters and protesters saw an estimated 40 people detained around midnight at a park in Phoenix.
In Colorado, about 1,000 people rallied in downtown Denver to support Occupy Wall Street, and at least two dozen were arrested.
In Canada, demonstrators gathered in cities across the country, and overseas, tens of thousands nicknamed "the indignant" marched in cities across Europe, as the protests that began in New York linked up with long-running demonstrations against government cost-cutting and failed financial policies in Europe.