Dubai: Protests raged in cities from Sydney to Chicago on Saturday as global finance chiefs met in Paris to discuss a way out of Europe's sovereign debt turmoil.
Thousands took to the streets in New Zealand and Australia, followed by Manila and Hong Kong, as demonstrations spread to Europe — where violence broke out on the streets of Rome, and protesters in London scuffled with police — and finally the US, the home of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Protesters hit out at corporate greed and cutbacks by governments, with many expressing anger over unemployment and opposition to the financial elite.
Meanwhile, following the second day of talks in Paris, global finance chiefs gathered at a meeting of the G20 last night urging Europe's leaders to "decisively" deal with the region's sovereign debt turmoil, setting an October 23 summit as the deadline for a plan.
Anger at inequities
Protesters burned cars in Rome and scuffled with police in London as anger boiled over on Saturday in worldwide demonstrations.
The outbreaks of violence marred an overwhelmingly peaceful protest, inspired by America's "Occupy Wall Street" and Spain's "Indignants", targeting 951 cities in 82 countries across the planet. Scuffles broke out in London where about 800 people rallied in the financial district near Saint Paul's Cathedral, raising banners saying: "Strike back!"; "No cuts!" and "Goldman Sachs is the work of the devil!"
As the day began, around 500 people gathered in the heart of Hong Kong's financial district to vent their anger at the inequities and excesses of free-market capitalism.
About 100 demonstrators in Tokyo also voiced fury at the Fukushima nuclear accident.
Another 600 demonstrators in Sydney set up camp outside Australia's central bank, where the plight of Aboriginals was added to the financial concerns.