NEW: New York's mayor says protesters can stay at the park where they're camping out
Students join unions in Boston touting jobs and blasting university presidents' pay
A "call to action" urges visits Saturday to banks to protest "business as usual"
Al Sharpton lauds a movement he says speaks for "99% of the people"
“We are here today because we agree 1% should not be controlling the (nation’s) wealth,” Sharpton said on his nationally syndicated radio program. “These (demonstrators) are regular people trying to feed their families, trying to pay their rent and mortgages, trying to survive.”
An afternoon march will take them past the homes of well-to-do folks like JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, billionaire David Koch and News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch.
Nearly four weeks into their protests, demonstrators typically have not strayed too far from downtown, where a home base of sorts has been established at Zuccotti Park.
Protesters plan to hop on the subway, emerging at 59th street near Central Park, where they will start their tour just after noon, according to organizers.
On Monday, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, music star Kanye West and the Rev. Al Sharpton added their celebrity to the Occupy Wall Street cause.
Their visits came as the burgeoning movement continued to echo from coast to coast, voicing impassioned sentiments on a range of topics while commonly railing against what protesters describe as corporate greed, political ineptitude and the inordinate power wielded by the United States’ wealthiest people.
Police in Boston arrested about 60 people associated with the protests late Monday and early Tuesday, Elaine Driscoll of the Boston Police Department said.
Protestors have been occupying Dewey Square Park in downtown Boston, but had expanded to the neighboring Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway on Monday night. Protestors were given a 1:30 a.m. ET deadline to move back to Dewey Square. Those who did not were arrested.
The nationwide movement has been largely peaceful, though it has led to some skirmishes with police and arrests, particularly in New York and Washington. It has also stoked fervent public debate, including among politicians. Democrats have generally offered sympathy for protesters’ concerns while several Republicans, among them 2012 presidential candidates Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich, have described the demonstrations as “class warfare.”
New York Mayor Bloomberg, an independent, appeared Monday to soften his stance about the protests.
Last Friday, he said on WOR radio that some demonstrators were “trying to destroy the jobs of working people in the city” and suggested it could only be a matter of time before officials potentially put an end to the Zuccotti Park encampment. Yet, speaking to CNN affiliate WCBS at a Columbus Day parade, the mayor said the city now plans to allow the protesters to stay indefinitely.
“The bottom line is, people want to express themselves, as long as they obey the laws, we’ll allow them to,” he said.
The Occupy movement shows few signs of slowing down. Rallies and marches have been held in numerous towns and cities in recent days, with many more planned.
That includes a “Call to Action Against Banks,” which New York’s Occupy Wall Street announced on its Facebook site will happen Saturday.
“No longer will banks take our homes. No longer will banks rob students of our future. No longer will banks destroy the environment. No longer will banks fund the misery of war. No longer will banks cause massive unemployment. And no longer will banks create and profit from economic crisis without a struggle,” according to the online message Monday.
It then urges people to “visit your local Bank of America, Wells Fargo or Chase (branches) and let them know, we will not allow business as usual.”
“We. Will. Occupy. Everywhere,” the posting ends.
CNNMoney’s Charles Riley contributed to this report