Wall Street protests grow coast to coast


Over 950 cities in 82 countries are now participating in demonstrations. From New York to the West Coast, tensions have risen over the spreading protests with arrests and clashes between demonstrators and police.

In Los Angeles, Occupy L.A. protests against corporate greed and economic inequality have remained peaceful. A march is scheduled through the Financial District on Saturday. It will begin at noon at Pershing Square with a march to City Hall.

However in San Diego efforts to clear a park turned violent. And in Denver, police in riot gear cleared out occupy protesters at the state capitol.

Occupy Wall Street and NYPD avert clash

A potential clash between Occupy Wall Street protesters and New York police has been averted after a planned cleanup of the park where demonstrators gather was postponed.

City leaders had said that protesters would be cleared out of the park Friday morning to let in cleaning crews. But officials said the owners of the private park, Brookfield Properties, had put off the cleaning. The plaza owner says the decision was prompted by requests from "a number of local political leaders."

Brookfield believes it can work out an arrangement with the protesters that "will ensure the park remains clean, safe, available for public use," it said.

More than an hour beforehand, protesters had streamed into Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, creating a crowd of several hundred chanting people. The protesters had said the planned cleanup at 7 a.m. was merely a pretext to evict them. They were suspicious that once they left the park, they wouldn't be allowed back in.

Demonstrators have been camping out in the park since the Occupy Wall Street protest began in September. They declared the cleaning postponement a boon to their movement, which blames Wall Street and corporate interests for the economic pain they say all but the wealthiest Americans have endured since the financial meltdown.

The protest was mostly peaceful Friday, but at least 14 people were arrested in confrontations with police officers during a march towards Wall Street, according to ABC News.

Other cities have staged their own local rallies and demonstrations: Occupy Boston, Occupy Cincinnati, Occupy Houston, Occupy Philadelphia, Occupy Providence, Occupy Salt Lake and Occupy Seattle, among them.

See photos of Occupy Wall Street protesters being arrested during a march in New York on Friday morning.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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