NEW YORK - Protests against Wall Street entered their 18th day Tuesday as demonstrators across the country show their anger over the wobbly economy and what they see as corporate greed by marching on Federal Reserve banks and camping out in parks from Los Angeles to Portland, Maine.
Demonstrations are expected to continue throughout the week as more groups hold organizational meetings and air their concerns on websites and through streaming video. On the movement's website, organizers called for students to walk out of their classrooms Wednesday.
In Manhattan on Monday, hundreds of protesters dressed as corporate zombies in white face paint lurched past the New York Stock Exchange clutching fistfuls of fake money. In Chicago, demonstrators pounded drums in the city's financial district. Others pitched tents or waved protest signs at passing cars in Boston, St. Louis, Kansas City, Mo., and Los Angeles.
A slice of America's discontented, from college students worried about their job prospects to middle-age workers who have been recently laid off, were galvanized after the arrests of 700 protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge over the weekend.
Some protesters likened themselves to the tea party movement but with a liberal bent or to the Arab Spring demonstrators who brought down their rulers in the Middle East.
"We feel the power in Washington has actually been compromised by Wall Street," said Jason Counts, a computer systems analyst and one of about three dozen protesters in St. Louis. "We want a voice, and our voice has slowly been degraded over time."
The Occupy Wall Street protests started on Sept. 17 with a few dozen demonstrators who tried to pitch tents in front of the New York Stock Exchange. Since then, hundreds have set up camp in a park nearby and have become increasingly organized, lining up medical aid and legal help and printing their own newspaper, the Occupied Wall Street Journal.
About 100 demonstrators were arrested on Sept. 24 and some were pepper-sprayed. On Saturday police arrested 700 on charges of disorderly conduct and blocking a public street as they tried to march over the Brooklyn Bridge. Police said they took five more protesters into custody on Monday, though it was unclear whether they had been charged with any crime.
"At this point, we don't anticipate wider unrest," said Tim Flannelly, an FBI spokesman in New York, "but should it occur the city, including the NYPD and the FBI, will deploy any and all resources necessary to control any developments."
Flannelly said he does not expect the New York protests to develop into the often-violent demonstrations that have rocked cities in the United Kingdom since the summer. But he said the FBI is "monitoring the situation and will respond accordingly."
Wiljago Cook, of Oakland, Calif., who joined the New York protest on the first day, said she was shocked by the arrests.
"Exposing police brutality wasn't even really on my agenda, but my eyes have been opened," she said. She vowed to stay in New York "as long as it seems useful."
City bus drivers sued the New York Police Department on Monday for commandeering their buses and making them drive to the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday to pick up detained protesters.
"We're down with these protesters. We support the notion that rich folk are not paying their fair share," said Transport Workers Union President John Samuelsen. "Our bus operators are not going to be pressed into service to arrest protesters anywhere."
The city's Law Department said the NYPD's actions were proper.
On Monday, the zombies stayed on the sidewalks as they wound through Manhattan's financial district chanting, "How to fix the deficit: End the war, tax the rich!" They lurched along with their arms in front of them. Some yelled, "I smell money!"
Reaction was mixed from passers-by.
Roland Klingman, who works in the financial industry and was wearing a suit as he walked through a raucous crowd of protesters, said he could sympathize with the anti-Wall Street message.
"I don't think it's directed personally at everyone who works down here," Klingman said. "If they believe everyone down here contributes to policy decisions, it's a serious misunderstanding."
Another man in a suit yelled at the protesters, "Go back to work!" He declined to be interviewed.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire who made his fortune as a corporate executive, has said the demonstrators are making a mistake by targeting Wall Street.
"The protesters are protesting against people who make $40- or $50,000 a year and are struggling to make ends meet. That's the bottom line. Those are the people who work on Wall Street or in the finance sector," Bloomberg said in a radio interview Friday.
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.