(Reuters) - About 130 protesters were arrested at an Occupy Chicago demonstration early on Sunday after they set up tents and refused to leave a public park after closing time, police said.

The protests, which have spread across the United States and to other countries since starting in New York last month, focus on anger over inequality of wealth, government bailouts of big banks and persistently high unemployment.

The breakup of the protest in Grant Park was the second mass arrest of Occupy Chicago demonstrators in the past week. A week ago, about 175 protesters were arrested.

The protesters were charged with violating a city ordinance, the equivalent of the lowest misdemeanor, and most were released after agreeing to appear in court, Chicago Police Officer Robert Perez said.

Grant Park, the site of large protests against the Vietnam War during the Democratic Party's convention in Chicago in 1968, is supposed to be closed after 11 p.m., police said.

Protesters decry unequal treatment for the 99 percent of Americans who are not the top earners but critics say the groups lack clear objectives.

Hundreds of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators have been arrested in New York since the protests began. There have been numerous arrests in Tampa, Cincinnati, Des Moines, Minneapolis, Denver and other cities.

(Reporting by David Bailey, editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and John O'Callaghan)




TOWNHALL MEDIA GROUP