The “Occupy Wall Street” movement against the excesses of capitalism and the ever-expanding income gap has now spilled across the globe.
In London, thousands of people demonstrated in the City of London financial district; while others rallied outside St Paul's Cathedral.
London Police reported they have made no arrests in connection with the demonstrations; however police officers prevented some rally organizers from establishing a camp outside the London Stock Exchange in Paternoster Square in the City.
Protest organizers have set up a website called 15october.net, which seeks to unify a global movement against corporate greed.
According to the website, concurrent protests are being held over the weekend in 951 cities in 82 countries.
“From America to Asia, from Africa to Europe, people are rising up to claim their rights and demand a true democracy,” the website stated.
“Now it is time for all of us to join in a global non violent protest. The ruling powers work for the benefit of just a few, ignoring the will of the vast majority and the human and environmental price we all have to pay. This intolerable situation must end. United in one voice, we will let politicians, and the financial elites they serve, know it is up to us, the people, to decide our future. We are not goods in the hands of politicians and bankers who do not represent us.”
BBC reported that those attending the London protests appeared to be students, unemployed college graduates, elderly pensioners and even passing tourists.
According to UK media, Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, spoke to the crowd.
The Daily Telegraph noted that political campaigner Peter Tatchell told the rally that he would like to impose a 20 percent emergency tax on the net wealth of the richest 10 percent of the British population.
The richest 10 percent of the UK population have a combined personal wealth of [£4 trillion] ($6.3 trillion). A one-off 20 percent tax on those people would raise £800 billion [$1.26 trillion], he said.
Those people can afford it, they'd feel no pain, they're so fabulously wealthy. With that sum of money you could pay off the entire government deficit. No need for any public spending cuts.
One BBC correspondent observing the rally wrote: They may not be a coherent group but they appear united in their goal -- to criticize the UK's bankers and speak for what they describe as 'people over profit'. There were jeers and boos from the crowds of protesters who wanted to get into Paternoster Square where the London Stock exchange is based as the demonstration got under way just after midday.”
She added: They were held back by lines of police officers and locked gates. Some led a march around the square before returning to the steps of St Paul's Cathedral where most have spent the rest of the afternoon chanting and waving their cardboard banners in the autumn sunshine. Others have brought along giant speakers to play music on or their own guitars and drums. The protest has been peaceful so far. Many of the protesters say they intend to stay put late into the night.”
According to reports, demonstrators held placards with slogans like: “Rich beware, your days are numbered” and “We are the 99%.”