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Arrests Made As "Occupy" Protesters March Against Big Banks

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At least 20 Occupy Wall Street demonstrators were arrested Saturday during a march against big banks that coincided with the so-called "Bank Transfer Day," though organizers for that event denied any affiliation with the protests.

In a statement released on the Occupy Wall Street website, protesters said the march was intended "to help expose the looming cash-for-immunity deal between the Obama administration and big banks."

Demonstrators intended to march from Zuccotti Park to Foley Square in Lower Manhattan.

At the same time, bank customers were urged to close their accounts as part of "Bank Transfer Day."

The movement encourages people to withdraw their money from large banks and invest in credit unions.

Organizer Kristen Christian said any dollar that's invested in nonprofit cooperatives that support local communities instead of big banks is a plus.

She said the idea started as a Facebook page she sent to 500 of her friends and that it quickly turned into a national movement.

Critics say pulling money out of banks will result in the same economic depression that gripped the country almost a century ago. Christian disagrees.

"This will not cause an economic collapse. There's major differences between what happened during the bank run after the stock market crashed in 1929 and what this movement is suggesting," said Christian.

Christian said the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ensures all funds will be available to depositors and also advises against keeping all of your money at home.

Organizers say the movement was largely responsible for forcing Bank of America to withdraw its proposed $5 debit card fee.

Apart from the simultaneous march, Occupy Wall Street protesters joined Bank Transfer Day in an act of solidarity to send a message against corporate greed.

Protest organizers will hold an all-day “Credit Union Forum” Sunday to discuss why they believe credit unions are an ethical alternative to large corporate banks.

Some said that they’ll participate in the cause even if they don't have much money in their bank accounts.

"If people want to remove their money from the big banks and put it in the credit unions, more power to them, but if they choose not to, who are we to force them? Because if this is what they feel comfortable with, let them be,” said one protester.

“I support people doing that, or at least being out in the street protesting the banks and encouraging people to redirect their money, and I will do that when I get home," said another.

Occupiers may support the movement, but Bank Transfer Day organizers said they are not affiliated with Occupy Wall Street, nor do they endorse any of their activities.

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