Police interventions fire up Occupy protesters; big rallies planned Thursday

After getting pepper-sprayed Tuesday night, 84-year-old Dorli Rainey of the Occupy Seattle movement felt fired up, ready for more protesting.

Like many other Occupy activists and social-trend analysts Wednesday, she said similar police confrontations across the country have a predictable effect.

"It just grows the movement," Rainey said.

Wednesday, protesters seized a Bank of America branch in San Francisco, forcing jittery customers and employees to flee. After a four-hour standoff, police in riot gear cleared the lobby and arrested 95 people, most of them college students.

As they prepare for a "national day of action" today, protesters from Seattle to New York are feeling energized, preparing to turn out perhaps the biggest crowds yet of the 2-month-old Occupy Wall Street movement. Unions and liberal groups are teaming up with Occupy groups nationwide to boost the turnouts.

With thousands expected to participate, all eyes will be on the police, who have cracked down on protesters in recent days.

Marchers are expected to take to the streets in many major cities, drawing attention to bridges that could be repaired to create more jobs.

David Schultz, a professor at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn., predicted protesters will try to provoke police to win public sympathy for their cause, noting it was a winning strategy during the Vietnam War.

Police interventions fire up Occupy protesters; big rallies planned Thursday 11/16/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 11:07pm]

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