Occupy London Bank of England protest leads to arrests

image captionPolice and the protesters issued conflicting reports on how many arrests had been made

Eleven people have been arrested after Occupy protesters pitched tents outside the Bank of England on a day of demonstrations in London.

The arrests were made for public order offences, City of London Police said.

But observers for the Occupy movement, which opposes corporate greed, said as many as 40 people were arrested.

The protest by about 300 demonstrators, which saw around 10 tents pitched outside the bank, was part of a global day of action.

Thousands of people staged rallies in cities including Athens, Moscow, New York, Barcelona and Madrid, where one of the city's main squares has been occupied.

'Powerful symbol'

The London protesters gathered outside St Paul's Cathedral for a rally before embarking on a "visiting the 1%" march which attempted to visit the offices of some of the largest banking institutions, including Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, RBS and Santander.

Occupy London supporter David Lincoln said: "It is clear that the balance in the UK is fundamentally skewed.

image captionSeveral hundred Occupy protesters gathered near the Bank of England

"Hundreds of people gathering by the Bank of England is a powerful symbol of how things have to change."

City of London Police officers monitored the protesters closely and a number of attempts to contain them led to skirmishes.

They gave the campaigners a deadline of 17:45 BST to leave the area outside the Bank of England but a handful remained in place later in the evening.

Occupy protesters were joined by members of Spanish protest group "Indignants", which was marking its first anniversary with the occupation of Madrid's central Puerta del Sol square.

Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in cities across Spain, where unemployment hit a record high in April and the government has recently announced fresh austerity measures.

In February, police and bailiffs evicted Occupy London protesters from the tent city they had set up around St Paul's Cathedral after they lost a High Court case against the City of London Corporation.

At the start of May police arrested five people after between 50 and 100 protesters set up a temporary camp outside the London Stock Exchange following May Day demonstrations.

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