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Occupy Wall Street protests spread to Main Street

Occupy Wall Street protests spread to cities across the United States Thursday, including St. Louis, Dallas, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. Wall Street protestors were arrested in St. Louis.

By Associated Press / October 6, 2011

An Occupy Wall Street protestor scuffles with a police officer as authorities remove all camping materials outside the Federal Reserve Bank in San Francisco, Calif., on Oct. 6, 2011

REUTERS/Stephen Lam

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What began on Wall Street is now spreading to Main Street in cities across the United States

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On Thursday morning, Occupy Wall Street (or 99 percent) protestors gathered in St. Louis, Dallas, Philadelphia and other large and small cities nationwide.

Hundreds of protesters marched in Dallas, Houston and Austin to join the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations demanding an end to corruption in politics and business.

Several hundred marchers worked their way to the Federal Reserve Building in Dallas. A similar number marched from the J.P. Morgan Chase building in Houston to City Hall. Several dozen demonstrators also gathered at Austin's City Hall.

Organizers of the protests say they plan to occupy those locations for as long as possible. The main Occupy Wall Street protests began Sept. 17 and have spread across the country.

Protesters are asking supporters to close accounts in major banks and to move money into credit unions. They also want reforms to campaign finance

In Philadelphia, several hundred protesters carrying signs gathered peacefully outside City Hall on Thursday as part of an "Occupy Philadelphia" rally modeled after similar protests in New York and other cities aimed at condemning the influence of big corporations on government.

The group, which included people of a wide variety of ages, milled about in front of the historic building and carried signs bearing slogans over a host of complaints, including the bank bailouts and the war in Afghanistan, while calling for the government to answer more to individuals and less to big businesses. Police said no arrests had been reported by late morning.

May Chan, 32, a science researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, carried a sign that read "Accountability & Jail Time for Wall Street Fat Cats," featuring a drawing of an imprisoned — and portly — feline.

"I'm outraged by the whole bailout," said Chan, who lamented that she thinks there was no accountability for the business leaders responsible for the recession. "I think someone should go to jail."

Organizers said Thursday's demonstration is meant to be a stand against corporate greed. Without a megaphone, rally leaders called out instructions to protesters encouraging them to be peaceful and find a police officer if there was any problem — and dozens of police officers milled about among the crowd. Over the weekend, about 700 protesters in New York were arrested as they tried to march over the Brooklyn Bridge.

In Philadelphia, protest leaders said those at the gathering may camp there and plan to give out food to the homeless. The event appeared peaceful Thursday morning, with people carrying homemade signs that read "Bail Out Students Not CEOS," ''Smash Capitalism," ''Listen to Your Granny — we want a peace economy," ''People Over Profit," ''End Corporate Greed" and other slogans.

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