Protesters Enter NYC Bank Buildings Before Rally

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Associated Press

Protesters Enter NYC Bank Buildings Before Rally

by
Cristian Salazar

A protester walks with a sign under a large banner during the "Main Street to Wall Street" rally in New York's financial district April 29, 2010. The AFL-CIO and other labor and community groups gathered to protest against Wall Street banks.… Read more » REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS)

NEW YORK — Noisy protesters with signs took over three bank building
lobbies on Thursday in a prelude to a Wall Street rally by workers and
union leaders angry over lost jobs, the taxpayer-funded bailout of
financial institutions and questionable lending practices by big banks.

Hours
before the scheduled rally, more than 100 people entered a midtown
Manhattan building housing JPMorgan Chase offices. They handed a bank
executive a letter requesting a meeting with the CEO, and chanted "Bust
up big banks!" and "People power!"

A half-hour later, they were
calmly escorted outside by officers, who remained expressionless as the
protesters chanted, "The police need a raise."

They then walked a
few blocks down Park Avenue and crowded into a Wells Fargo and Wachovia
building lobby. Police arrived on horseback as curious office workers
watched the scene unfold from their windows.

"We're here today to
stop the corporate greed that is ruining our neighborhoods," said Andrea
Goldman, 59, of Springfield, Mass., who's part of a group called
Alliance to Develop Power.

Sign slogans included: "Save Our Jobs"
and "Save Our Homes."

The banks did not immediately respond to
requests for comment.

Thousands of workers and union members were
expected at the rally, organized by the AFL-CIO and an association of
community groups.

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets
Association, which includes many Wall Street financial institutions,
declined to comment.

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