Nightly News

Nightly News   |  October 16, 2011

Protesters ready for the long haul

This weekend was the largest weekend for the Occupy movement since it started, and even after arrests and violence in Rome, demonstrators are prepared to stay for a long time. NBC's Mara Schiavocampo reports.

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LESTER HOLT, anchor: And as you heard mentioned at today's ceremony, the viral Occupy Wall Street movement blossomed into a worldwide expression of general dissatisfaction this weekend after massing some of its biggest numbers yet. Protest organizers have proven their ability to grab attention, but toward what end? NBC 's Mara Schiavocampo reports.

MARA SCHIAVOCAMPO reporting: At the Occupy Wall Street base camp in Lower Manhattan , time to regroup.

Unidentified Man #1: And we're getting the job done.

SCHIAVOCAMPO: After the largest day of events the movement has seen since starting a month ago, yesterday protests moved from this park to Times Square , thousands gathering for a mass demonstration against economic inequalities. Ninety-two were arrested in scuffles with police. It was a similar scene in Chicago , where overnight at least 175 were arrested, some literally carried out as police tore apart a tent camp in Grant Park . While the demonstrations are attracting many, unlike most populist movements there's no consensus on demands.

Unidentified Woman: I wanted to be a part of a movement that hopefully will effect change so that more economic justice can be spread around.

Unidentified Man #2: Level the field. The field is the problem, not the politicians.

Unidentified Man #3: There has to be a change in the way that government is handled.

SCHIAVOCAMPO: This weekend Occupy Wall Street occupied the world with protests in dozens of cities including London and Berlin .

Unidentified Man #4: We're here to fight against financial crimes they do.

SCHIAVOCAMPO: The most violent were in Rome , where today they're cleaning up after groups of protesters rampaged through the city, burning cars and smashing windows. Back in New York , donated supplies and cash continues to pour in from around the world. Organizers say the global support shows just how far they've come.

Mr. MARK BRAY (Occupy Wall Street): We've shown that we have enough connections in the community and enough support among unions, community groups, local politicians and just individuals to say that this is a legitimate national issue.

SCHIAVOCAMPO: Those camping here at Zuccotti Park say they have no plans to leave any time soon and they've certainly set up the infrastructure for a long