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Occupy protesters take case against big retailers to shoppers

SAN FRANCISCO — Anti-Wall Street protesters took their message about corporate greed to Black Friday shoppers, staging demonstrations in commercial areas around California on one of the busiest days of the year for retailers and bargain-hunters.

In San Francisco, a few dozen people in tony and touristy Union Square used signs to spread an anti-consumerism message.

Some of the protesters from the Occupy movements in San Francisco and Oakland clashed with police when they briefly blocked the city's iconic cable cars until officers pushed them out of the street.

Later in the afternoon, some of the participants in what protesters called "Don't Buy Anything Day" sat down in the middle of Market Street, San Francisco's main thoroughfare, and blocked traffic while chanting, "Stop shopping and join us!"

A group of about 20 Occupy protesters in Sacramento marched from a park to a small outdoor mall where many of the storefronts are empty. A police officer on a bicycle trailed the crowd.

A few puzzled shoppers, many toting large shopping bags, stopped to stare at the crowd as they read a manifesto asking people to support local merchants.

Michele Waldinger, 57, a retired attorney who used to work for the U.S. Small Business Administration, said she joined the group to lend her voice to the Occupy effort to restore a social safety net and get corporate influence out of American politics.

"I support the movement, I support getting money out of politics and I support having people shop locally," she said.

The group paraded into a Macy's store, entering near the women's clothing department.

"We are here today to ask you to shop local and sustain our local economy," the group's leader, a man who identified himself only as Brother Carter, read into a bullhorn.

Occupy protesters take case against big retailers to shoppers 11/25/11 [Last modified: Friday, November 25, 2011 8:09pm]
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