Anti-Wall Street protesters arrested in New York

Protesters on Wall Street, New York (24 Sept 2011) The protesters' placards carried demands about a range of causes

At least 80 people have been arrested during an anti-Wall Street march in New York's financial district.

Several hundred people took part in Saturday's march, which was intended to draw attention to "corporate greed and corrupt politics" in the US.

Participants carried banners supporting a range of other issues, including healthcare reform, an end to US wars and the scrapping of the death penalty.

The march came after a week of protests by the Occupy Wall Street campaign.

The loosely organised group says it is defending 99% of the US population against the wealthiest 1%, and had called for 20,000 people to "flood into lower Manhattan" on 17 September and remain there for "a few months".

Protesters, who are mostly young, initially numbered some 1,500 but their numbers had fallen to about 200 by Saturday's march.

There was a heavy security presence in the district, with police deploying nets to block off major roads including Fifth Avenue and to protect the New York Stock Exchange.

Corporate 'enemy'

One protester, 21-year-old Ryan Reed, said he joined in "because what I see - and what I feel most people in this country see - is an economy and a system that's collapsing".

Police carry an arrested man in New York (24 Sept 2011) Police said most of the arrests were for disorderly conduct

"The enemy is the big business leaders of Wall Street, the big oil company leaders, the coal company leaders, the big military industrial leaders."

A number of placards also called for "justice for Troy Davies", the US man executed in Georgia last week amid widespread criticism.

Police said most of Saturday's arrests were for disorderly conduct and blocking traffic, but one person was charged with assaulting a police officer. One officer also suffered a shoulder injury, said police.

They have not commented on protest organisers' comments that there had been an "unprecedented level of police aggression" on display.

A statement on the Occupy Wall Street website said the protesters have "an interest in returning the US back into the hands of its individual citizens".

"Our nation, our species and our world are in crisis. The US has an important role to play in the solution, but we can no longer afford to let corporate greed and corrupt politics set the policies if our nation."

Inspired by urban occupations in cities including Madrid, Cairo and Tunisia, they have said they will camp out in Zuccotti Park, a private park near the financial district, until their demands are met.

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