Global 'Occupy' marches show reach of most unlikely consumer revolution ever

Corporate America: Customers have conquered your social nets, demanding more than disdain and dismissal

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The most disappointing thing about the global "day of rage" protests inspired and coordinated by the coterie of activists known as OccupyWallStreet is that this picture of a Toronto Police officer playfully water-fighting with "protesters" is actually from the Toronto Gay Pride parade July 17, not any of the Occupy events.

Except for Italy, where a small, violent "black bloc" within the group of more than 10,000 marchers burned cars, attacked banks and threw rocks, the multinational protest went off in more than a dozen cities, with little violence, but more than 100 arrests New York and 175 in Chicago.

In Toronto the march of more than 1,000 protesters was peaceful, though the message they communicated through handmade sings with slogans like "CEO pay up 444% in 12 years. How about yours?" was apparently more puzzling than provocative for many Canadian pundits, many of whom seem confused about the difference between OWS and the protesters who turned the G20 Economic Summit made such a riot in June of 2010.

The global protest is the largest, most visible result of a protest launched in New York a month ago by the hactivist group Anonymous and a medley of liberal, real-world activist groups such as Adbusters, which describes itself as being focused on protecting consumers from exploitation by financial-services and other big businesses.

Unlikely coalition for real-world social revolution

Anonymous and the heavily educated, heavily digitalized contingent among the protesters have helped keep both the protest the often violent reaction to it by police.

Photo Credit: 

Reuters: Heino Kalis

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