About 2,000 protesters with the Occupy Wall Street movement marched through New York's financial district on Saturday ahead of a planned rally in Times Square as demonstrators in cities around the world decried economic inequality.

The demonstrators in Lower Manhattan banged drums and chanted, "We got sold out, banks got bailed out," "All day, all week, occupy Wall Street," and "Hey hey, ho ho, corporate greed has got to go."

A police spokesman said 24 people were arrested, most of them for trespassing and disorderly conduct.

Protests inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement were held in cities in the United States and Canada on Saturday. This followed demonstrations that began in New Zealand and rippled east to European cities including Rome, where the demonstration turned violent.

 

In Washington, hundreds of protesters turned out, while a couple of thousand people gathered peacefully in Toronto's St. James park, a few blocks from the city's financial district.

The marchers in New York were making their way to Times Square for a rally at 5 p.m. EDT, when the area typically is crowded with tourists and Broadway theatergoers.

"At the present time, Broadway matinee and evening shows will go on as scheduled," Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of the Broadway League, said in a statement.

"We will work closely with the proper authorities to keep Times Square safe for everyone."

The protesters say they are 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.

They also believe the richest 1 percent of Americans do not pay their fair share in taxes.

"These protests are already making a difference," said Jordan Smith, 25, a former substance abuse counselor from San Francisco, who for 10 days has been at the New York park at the center of the protests. "The dialogue is now happening all over the world."

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