Hundreds Attend Occupy Miami Protest

Hundreds of people protested at Occupy Miami's Saturday demonstration.

By Mary Beth Wilson, Donna Rapado and Lisa Orkin Emmanuel
|  Saturday, Oct 15, 2011  |  Updated 11:51 PM EDT
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Hundreds of protestors gathered along Biscayne Boulevard on Saturday as members of Occupy Miami participated in the group's first official demonstration.

Hundreds of protestors gathered along Biscayne Boulevard on Saturday as members of Occupy Miami participated in the group's first official demonstration.

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Occupy Miami

Occupy Miami protested at the Torch of Friendship in Downtown Miami's Bayfront Park on Saturday.
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Hundreds of Occupy Miami protesters gathered along Biscayne Boulevard on Saturday, chanting and holding up signs showing their frustration and anger at corporate America, the federal government and the banking system.

Group member, Mishael Soto, was pleased to report the that protest was peaceful.
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"It's going amazingly well," Soto said. "There's at least 600 [people] here, maybe more. All under control and unified."
 
People chanted and held up signs. One sign read: "Banks Were Bailed Out You Were Sold Out" and another read "Healthcare Not Warfare." Meanwhile, The Miami Herald reported that police said the number of protesters was more than 1,000.
 
Meredith Garstin told NBC Miami said she sometimes has to choose between putting a roof over her head or putting food on the table. Another protester said the country was wasting resources sending soldiers overseas when there are domestic issues to deal with.
 
"We can barely make ends meet and there's an inequality with the taxation system. So, larger corporations have come up with all the loopholes so they are not paying their equal share," Garstin said. "It's hearbreaking because it's extremely stressful on me and my family. And just to cover the basic things that we need to survive is sometimes almost impossible..."
 
The group marched several blocks to Government Center where they continued their demonstration. Drivers honked to show their support as protesters stood outside until sundown.

Meanwhile, people continued discussing the protest on Occupy Miami's Facebook page Saturday night. Hundreds also gathered in Fort Lauderdale at the Federal Building, and in downtown Orlando, 1,500 people showed up for a march past banks.

"Let's occupy Fort Lauderdale and show that every place in this country is fed up with corporate thieves stealing our liberty and selling it to the highest bidder," the Occupy Fort Lauderdale Facebook page's About section read.

Occupy protesters gathered all over the world on Saturday. Violence broke out in Rome, where police fired tear gas and water cannons at some protesters who broke away from the main demonstration, smashing shop and bank windows, torching cars and hurling bottles. Dozens were injured.

Tens of thousands nicknamed "the indignant" marched in cities across Europe, as the protests that began in New York linked up with long-running demonstrations against government cost-cutting and failed financial policies in Europe. Protesters also turned out in Australia and Asia.

The Occupy Wall Street demonstration started out small last month, with less than a dozen college students spending days and nights in Zucotti Park, a private plaza off Broadway. It has grown significantly, however, both in New York City and elsewhere as people in other communities display their solidarity in similar protests.

The event has drawn protestors of diverse ages and occupations who are speaking out against corporate greed, social inequality, global climate and other concerns.

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