Hundreds rally for anti-corporate protest in London
Nearly 300 people rallied in London's financial heart Saturday amid a heavy police presence as part of world protests against corporate greed and budget cutbacks.
The demonstrators, some of them masked, were pushed back by police as they tried to march from Saint Paul's Cathedral to the London Stock Exchange, and minor scuffles broke out.
The marchers, bearing banners reading "Strike Back", "No Cuts" and "Goldman Sachs Is the Work of the Devil", were ringed by three police cordons while mounted officers also stood by.
Organisers in a group calling itself OccupyLSX were hoping for thousands of participants after some 15,000 people expressed support on Facebook and Twitter.
Ben Walker, 33, a teacher from Norwich, eastern England, was carrying a rolled-up sleeping bag and said he planned to spend one or two nights in the area.
"I'm here today mainly as a sense of solidarity with the movements that are going on around the world," he told AFP. "We're hoping for a kind of justice in the global financial system."
Inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States and Spain's "Indignants", people began taking to the streets across the world Saturday, targeting 951 cities in 82 countries.
It was the biggest show of strength yet by a movement born on May 15 when a rally in Madrid's central square of Puerta del Sol sparked a protest that spread internationally.
Dominated by anger over unemployment and opposition to the financial elite, the protests coincided with a Paris meeting of G20 financial powers preoccupied by the eurozone debt crisis.
© 2011 AFP