Some 130 activists of the ‘Occupy Chicago movement’ have been arrested for camping out in a city park after closing time. They’ve been inspired by the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests against corporate greed and the influence of the rich in government.
The movement has existed for over a month and has now spread across five continents.
Back in New York, dozens of people were arrested just days ago in a police crackdown on activists.
However, the rough tactics police are using against protesters are not something new for the US, according to Nate Buckley from the National Confederation to End Unjust Incarcerations and Free Political Prisoners in Buffalo.
“Throughout our history, whether there were union uprisings, civil rights activists, anti-nuclear organizations they’ve always been used, but now there are just more cameras around and more accessibility, so you can put something global, and before now, this information was not able to get out there.”
There have been economic protests in many countries before, but it’s Occupy Wall Street that has become so widespread and unified. Buckley believes that mostly this is because it does not have formal leaders or formal objectives, and it is easy for people to sign up for this kind of action. But if the movement loses media attention, its activists risk losing much of its support, and might also become more vulnerable to police repression, Buckley believes.