2wall

UPDATE 2-Wall St. office cleaners join march for better jobs


By Michelle Nichols and Paula RogoNEW YORK, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Hundreds of office cleaners and guards marched near Wall Street on Wednesday demanding good jobs and protesting economic inequality, while a smaller group of demonstrators rallied at JPMorgan Chase’s skyscraper.The marches were part of a growing Occupy Wall Street movement, the month-long protests that have inspired solidarity rallies planned for Thursday at some 90 U.S. college campuses. Demonstrations have occurred in more than 1,400 cities around the world.The movement began on Sept. 17, when protesters set up camp in a park near Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, upset that the billions of dollars in bank bailouts doled out during the recession allowed banks to resume earning huge profits while average Americans have had no relief from high unemployment and job insecurity.Participants also complain the richest 1 percent of Americans do not pay their fair share of taxes.More than 750 cleaners, security guards and other building service workers converged on the financial district to march for better-paying jobs, while at a nearby rally outside a JPMorgan Chase skyscraper police said about 100 people walked around the building and then returned to their camp in the park.Police said they arrested four people at the bank building.Barricades had been placed outside the JPMorgan Chase building in preparation for the protest, and many police officers stood on duty.The building service workers union, the Service Employees International Union, which organized the march, said contracts for tens of thousands of workers were about to expire.“We’re out here because there’s no jobs and we’re about to lose our jobs. We’re tired and we’re fed up and we need these people in here to hear us,” said Carla Thomas, 47, a building security guard, gesturing toward Wall Street.People who live near Zuccotti Park where the protesters are based have been complaining that loud music at night, including bongo playing, is keeping their children awake.New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said the protests can continue as long as laws are obeyed.Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway said the mayor told the protesters the park would be cleaned on Friday due to unsanitary conditions created over the past three weeks.“The cleaning will be done in stages and the protesters will be able to return to the areas that have been cleaned provided they abide by the rules” established for the park, Holloway said in a statement.At a rally in San Francisco, 11 protesters were arrested on Wednesday when up to 200 people demonstrated at the Wells Fargo corporate headquarters, blocking entrances and sticking posters on the building, one that read: “My bank went to bail-out land and all I got was a lousy recession."TRUST BROKENProtesters appeared to be directing frustration at JP Morgan Chase’s high-profile chief executive, Jamie Dimon.About 500 protesters on Tuesday met on Manhattan’s upscale Upper East Side, marching past the homes of Dimon, hedge fund manager John Paulson, media mogul Rupert Murdoch and David Koch, co-founder of energy firm Koch Industries.Several of those being criticized by the protesters have shown understanding, sympathy or support for the Occupy Wall Street movement, including a U.S. Federal Reserve official, President Barack Obama and some corporate executives.Citigroup Chief Executive Vikram Pandit said on Wednesday the sentiments of the protesters were "completely understandable” and that he would be happy to speak with them.“Trust has been broken between financial institutions and the citizens of the U.S., and that is Wall Street’s job, to reach out to Main Street and rebuild that trust,” he told a business breakfast hosted by Fortune magazine.Bill Gross, manager of PIMCO, the world’s biggest bond fund, posted on Twitter late on Tuesday: “Class warfare by the 99%? Of course, they’re fighting back after 30 years of being shot at."A found on Wednesday that 82 percent of Americans had heard of the Occupy Wall Street protest movement, and 38 percent felt favorably toward it. Thirty-five percent were undecided, and about one-quarter unfavorable.Hundreds of people were arrested in previous rallies in New York, and police have used pepper spray on protesters.Demonstrators were arrested in Washington, Boston and Chicago on Tuesday at protests inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement.


UPDATE 2-Wall St protesters target homes of top executives


* College students plan solidarity protests on Thursday (Recasts, adds details throughout)By Michelle NicholsNEW YORK, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Hundreds of anti-Wall Street protesters marched on the New York homes of wealthy executives on Tuesday, triggering one of their targets, billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson, to defend his wealth.Around 500 people marched through Manhattan’s Upper East Side, passing the high-rise buildings where many of the executives live. Among them are Paulson, global media mogul Rupert Murdoch, JPMorgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon and David Koch, co-founder of energy firm Koch Industries.The protesters chanted “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out” and “Hey you billionaires, pay your fair share” and carried signs that read “Stop robbing from the middle class to pay the rich” and “We are the 99 percent,” a reference to the idea that the top 1 percent of Americans have too much.Mustafa Ibrahim, 23, an engineer marched on the “Billionaire’s Tour” during a visit to New York from Cairo, where he said he was arrested during a popular uprising this year which toppled Egyptian autocrat Hosni Mubarak.“It’s pretty much the same thing as Egypt,” Ibrahim said. “The problem is the rich keep getting richer and the poor are getting poorer."Since Sept. 17 protesters have been camped out in a park in Lower Manhattan near Wall Street, rallying against bailouts for banks during the recession, which allowed them to earn huge profits while average Americans suffer high unemployment and job insecurity with little help.As protesters took their grievances to the homes of the rich, the Paulson & Co hedge fund defended its status.Paulson took home $5 billion in 2010, the hedge fund industry’s biggest ever paycheck, but this year one of his main funds has fallen 47 percent after he mistimed a call that the economy would recover strongly."The top 1 percent of New Yorkers pay over 40 percent of all income taxes, providing huge benefits to everyone in our city and state,” Paulson & Co said in a statement, adding that New York has the highest income taxes of any U.S. states.“Instead of vilifying our most successful businesses, we should be supporting them and encouraging them to remain in New York City and continue to grow,” it said.The Occupy Wall Street movement is burgeoning ahead of planned global protests on Saturday. On Wednesday, the Service Employees International Union will march on New York City’s financial district for good jobs, while U.S. college students plan solidarity protests on Thursday on at least 56 campuses.According to Occupy Together, which has become an online hub for protest activity, the Occupy Wall Street movement has sparked rallies in more than 1,400 cities throughout the United States and around the world.ARRESTS IN BOSTON, WASHINGTON D.C.Goldman Sachs boss Lloyd Blankfein canceled a talk at New York’s Barnard College, and though the company – which received and repaid a big federal bailout during the financial crisis – said a scheduling conflict would keep him away, students from nearby Columbia University were planning to"Don’t look at the Arab spring, look here because things are going to boil over,“ said protester Charles Evans, 62, as he marched on the "Billionaire’s Tour."Fifth Avenue resident Lorna Goldberg, 57, said she was surprised to see the protesters near her home. "But I guess they’re getting their point across by coming here,” she added.Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat, last week likened the growth of the protest movement to the grass-roots Tea Party, but the conservative group on Tuesday sought to distance itself from the protesters.The Tea Party Patriots said in a statement that its supporters were “not lawbreakers, they don’t hate the police, they don’t even litter.”