Talk of the Day -- Anti-greed protests surge around world

More than 950 cities in 82 countries around the world have seen a surge of protests against economic inequality and corporate greed, echoing the Occupy Wall Street campaign in New York. On Saturday, the campaign became global as people around the world joined an Internet call dubbed "United for Global Change." The campaign takes aim at the political and economic elite, whom the protesters say are responsible for widening the wealth gap in this era of globalization. In Taipei, some 500 people, including some foreigners, encircled the Taipei 101 skyscraper in support of the Occupy Wall Street campaign. Following are excerpts of some major Taiwanese media's reports on the latest developments in the "anti-capitalism" drive throughout the world. China Times: In New Zealand and Australia on Saturday, thousands joined the protest, with those in Sydney's downtown business district prepared to to dig in for the long term. Some protesters in Melbourne also said they would stand "to the end." In Tokyo, hundreds of people took to the streets, shouting slogans such as "Terminate Nuclear Power." In Seoul, only about 70 people joined the international campaign in protest against what they deemed a "greedy corporate elite" that has contributed to the worsening labor conditions in South Korea. Similar protests were held in Jakarta, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taipei. Protesters in Europe, where a debt crisis has hit their societies, enthusiastically joined the global campaign. Some 5,000 demonstrators gathered in front of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany and an estimated 100,000-200,000 people were expected to take part in a rally in Rome. Italians from 80 provinces and areas boarded 750 buses, heading for Rome to protest against what they called their leaders' poor handling of the European debt crisis. "We've had enough," an Italian protester shouted, accusing his government of disregarding the people's livelihood. He also denounced corrupt banks and market speculators. In Madrid, where an "Indignant" campaign took place in May, protesters gathered in Cibeles Sqaure before deciding to move to Puerta del Sol for an overnight sit-in. The deepening of the European debt crisis has given energy to the campaign on the continent against corporate greed. A Reuters photo showed some 100,000 Italians swarming into Rome to join the protests, which indicated that "anti-capitalism" has become a global phenomenon. (Oct. 16, 2011) The Central News Agency: In Taipei, fewer than 500 people took part in an "Occupy Taipei" protest on Saturday in wet weather, barely enough to form a circle around the Taipei 101 tower. The protesters stood in the steady drizzle chanting, "We want justice, we want freedom," in an extension of the "Occupy Wall Street (OWS)" demonstration that has been taking place in the U.S. in recent weeks against social and economic inequality and corporate greed. The Taipei crowd was made up of local protesters, as well as foreign nationals who held placards that read "Greed has ruined my country. Don't let it ruin yours." The action was initiated on Facebook and as of 3:30 p.m. Saturday, nearly 6,800 people had "liked" the page and more than 2,000 had said they planned to attend the rally, but only about 500 showed up. Although the turnout was not as good as expected, the initiators said, "at least we have voiced our appeals." Some of the Taiwanese protesters said they were expressing dissatisfaction at the fact that they could not afford to get married or have children. (Oct. 15, 2011) The Liberty Times: The Taiwanese version of the "Occupy Wall Street" campaign was staged in and around Taipei 101 shopping mall, with more than 300 members of 10 civilian groups participating, including former director of the Department of Labor of Taipei City Cheng Tsun-chi. Some of the participants swarmed into the shopping mall and staged a sit-in there, making the point that they were among the 99 percent of the population who have been made poorer by the increasingly unequal distribution of wealth. Cheng said the rally was a test run of how the general public would react to a host of economic and social and political issues that have frustrated them deeply. Organizers said they will stage a similar protest on the Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office on Nov. 12, the birthday of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, founding father of the Republic of China. (Oct. 16, 2011) The United Evening News: As part of the global action on Saturday, 5,000 protesters marched from New York's financial district to Times Square. They clashed with police, who arrested some 100 of them. On Sunday, nearly 1,000 cities in more than 80 countries echoed the Occupy Wall Street movement that was launched in New York on Sept. 17. The New York protesters targeted the Chase Manhattan Bank, which was bailed out by the United States government, chanting slogans such as "We got sold out; banks got bailed out!" They voiced their support for the 14,000 Chase Manhattan employees who were laid off after their bank was granted a "rescue fund" of US$94.7 billion. Some of the protesters distributed fliers, calling on people to close their accounts at the bank. (Oct. 16, 2011) (By S.C. Chang)