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The Today File

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November 2, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Occupy Seattle protesters arrested, pepper sprayed

Officers struggle with a protester outside Chase Bank. (Photo by Jennifer Sullivan / The Seattle Times)

UPDATE 4 p.m.

Five protesters who had been inside Chase bank were arrested and taken outside to a police paddy wagon. Other protesters began pounding on the vehicle and chanting, “Let them go!” Some people began lying down in front of the van.

Police have used pepper spray on protesters and have closed off East Thomas Street and Broadway. Protesters are handing gas masks to each other and pounding on police cars.

A few scuffles have been seen between officers and protesters, but Seattle police Sgt Sean Whitcomb said he did not know if additional protesters had been arrested outside the bank.

A line of officers has formed about 10 feet from a circle of about 150 protesters in the middle of Broadway and East Harrison. They’re locking arms and chanting, “We are the 99 percent.”

About 4 p.m., they left and began marching toward Westlake Park for the evening protest against Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

UPDATE: 2:30 p.m.

About 200 protesters marched about a half mile down the center of Broadway to a Chase bank branch on the corner of East Thomas Street.

One person read a statement outside, that said in part: “The world does not have to be this way! We are out to change the whole planet starting right here.”

They asked police to arrest Chase bank’s CEO “for crimes against the people.”

Seattle police blocked the bank entrance to keep protesters outside, but five had gone down ahead of the march and were inside the bank, lying on their backs, linked together, waiting to be arrested. The bank is now closed.

Earlier post:

About 100 people gathered at Seattle Central Community College this afternoon as part of the Occupy Seattle movement to speak out against banks and to share their views about the economy and the situation in Oakland.

One man pleaded with the crowd to dump their banks and switch to credit unions, as he said he recently did. When he tried to burn his old U.S. Bank card it didn’t work. He asked the crowd for scissors but nobody had a pair, so he tore it with his hands as the crowd chanted: “Occupy Seattle. Occupy Chase bank!”

One woman told the crowd they need to “demand our money” back from Chase. Another speaker said they don’t need money, because “it’s only paper.”

The protest group is planning two marches today, including one at 6 p.m. from Westlake Park to the Sheraton hotel, where JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon will be speaking at a business dinner.

Comments | More in General news | Topics: Chase, Jamie Dimon, Occupy Seattle

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