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Occupy Wall Street protests spread nationwide

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Some protesters planned to travel to other cities to organize similar events.

John Hildebrand, a protester in New York from Norman, Okla., hoped to mount a protest there after returning home Tuesday. Julie Levine, a protester in Los Angeles, planned to go to Washington on Thursday.

Websites and Facebook pages with names like Occupy Boston and Occupy Philadelphia have also sprung up to plan the demonstrations.

Hundreds of demonstrators marched from a tent city on a grassy plot in downtown Boston to the Statehouse to call for an end of corporate influence of government.

"Our beautiful system of American checks and balances has been thoroughly trashed by the influence of banks and big finance that have made it impossible for the people to speak," said protester Marisa Engerstrom, of Somerville, Mass., a Harvard doctoral student.

The Boston demonstrators decorated their tents with hand-written signs reading, "Fight the rich, not their wars" and "Human need, not corporate greed."

Some stood on the sidewalk holding up signs, engaging in debate with passers-by and waving at honking cars. One man yelled "Go home!" from his truck. Another man made an obscene gesture.

Patrick Putnam, a 27-year-old chef from Framingham, Mass., said he's standing up for the 99 percent of Americans who have no say in what happens in government.

"We don't have voices, we don't have lobbyists, so we've been pretty much neglected by Washington," he said.

In Chicago, protesters beat drums on the corner near the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. In Los Angeles, demonstrators hoping to get TV coverage gathered in front of the courthouse where Michael Jackson's doctor is on trial on manslaughter charges.

Protesters in St. Louis stood on a street corner a few blocks from the shimmering Gateway Arch, carrying signs that read, "How Did The Cat Get So Fat?," ''You're a Pawn in Their Game" and "We Want The Sacks Of Gold Goldman Sachs Stole From Us."

"Money talks, and it seems like money has all the power," said Apollonia Childs. "I don't want to see any homeless people on the streets, and I don't want to see a veteran or elderly people struggle. We all should have our fair share. We all vote, pay taxes. Tax the rich."

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