Overheard on CNN.com: What exactly do the protesters want?
Police ticketed more than 700 "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrators crossing the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday in New York.
October 3rd, 2011
07:28 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: What exactly do the protesters want?

The recent "Occupy Wall Street" protests have been a hot topic on CNN.com lately, and the stories about them have prompted a great deal of discussion among readers. Many readers engaged in very heated debates, while many others wondered what the demonstrations were really about.

Wall Street protests enter 3rd week, pick up steam

Some readers have applauded the efforts of the protesters:

carnac95 said, “I think this movement is AWESOME!  It's about time the left be heard. We are hard working Americans that believe in science, innovation, compassion and taking our country back from the far right that only want "each man for himself." We are ALL in this together!!!”

JesusLizard said, “We should all be protesting. Sick of CEOs with their $10 million golden parachutes as they leave corporations that fail to make a profit to go work for another.  Sick of the billions our government has thrown at the banksters.  And a $14 trillion debt is unacceptable! Take the protest to Washington!”

Jones3 said, “I LOVE the protesters.  This is what this Country is all about.  I applaud their courage. The nationwide protests in this Country have: given people Civil Rights, stopped the last stupid War we were pushed into (Vietnam) and caused many other good things to come.  What else can we do with such a messed up Government?”

Others have indicated uncertainty over what the protesters’ exact aims are:

goingsoon said, “What exactly is the goal of the protests?  "End corruption" is too vague.  I wonder how many of these protesters are just sitting in, getting arrested with no ability to define the outcome they seek.”

randaxe said, “I still don't understand the objectives. What do these guys want to happen? More taxes on the rich? More regulation? The purpose has to be clear enough to demand for a particular action versus just saying the economy sucks.”

One reader expressed his bewilderment with the protests, asserting that the protesters are essentially going nowhere by protesting the various issues at Wall Street:

ExLonghorn said, “This whole protest thing is baffling to me. American consumers are pushing for ever-lower prices, which push local companies out of business and which push corporations to move costs overseas.  Then everyone complains that there aren't enough jobs, and that incomes are stagnant or declining. Well, duh. That's how this whole thing works, folks. Either buy American, or get ready to compete with 2 billion people in Asia who are willing to work harder than you for a tenth of your income. If this protest is about fairness, I humbly submit to you that WASHINGTON is the place to protest."

Other readers attempted to better explain the protesters' cause:

Libertycall said, “We are for taxation fairness and financial discipline, but not while Wall Street disposes of our income and savings. It's not anarchy, strikes, disorder we're aiming for, because our economy is in a poor shape.  We want to educate people who think they do well only by comparison to starving, unemployed, and desperate. We are on a course of becoming a 2nd Greece, and we want to prevent it, while we still can.”

ddelrose said, "People are speaking up about their frustrations of living in a country that has outsourced their jobs, corporate profits being made off the backs of those that do work, affordable healthcare that is unattainable, a Wall Street that has forgotten about taking care of its investors and politicians that have sent us down the river for their own goals. It is time to speak up...and stand up to what is happening here in America. If we don't, this country will never survive."

soundoff (118 Responses)
  1. rktman71

    What do they want? Probably to believe that they are the precious, unique snowflakes society has been telling them they are.

    October 4, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Knucklehead

      Well, they are precious, unique little snowflakes after all...let's give them that. But they are oxygen sucking CO2 blowing resource draining little organisms. They must be fed, they must be clothed, they must be sheltered. Are they growing their own food, making their own clothes? Can they drive a nail?

      This is just like the 60's. Pointless and noisy. You want change? Pull yourself out of the economy. Make your own food. Buy used. Build crap yourself. Get the hell out of the city. Sitting around playing guitars and borrowing the toilets of the poor small businesses lucky enough to be located near you won't fix a damn thing. Whining at Wall Street? You have to be joking. You had enough of Wall Street? Turn your back on it and walk away...

      October 4, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. turk

    Where are the specific demands? Are they legible?
    Does CNN have the audacity to print their wish list of nonsense?
    Its so '60s and so sad these folks missed the acid...no wait check out their demands
    and pass the Koolaide LOL...
    Are these the children of the '60s era generation...if so says much:)
    Yo power 2 da people

    October 4, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blaze

      The protesters mainly want accountability, from the banks that caused this financial disaster, for EVERYONE in politics GOP and DEM, The GOP for bringing us into a unfunded war based on lies, and Dems for their unfulfilled promises. The big bussinesses who keep getting tax breaks but still create no jobs. When we were growing up we were told that if we worked hard, kept our noses clean and got good grades we could get a good paying job and live happily ever after, instead most college grads now have to work as waiters and bar tenders instead of the oportunities we were promised

      October 5, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  3. turk

    SPOT ON!

    October 4, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Carl Peter Klapper

    I have tried to interest the protestors, via a supposedly official web page, in my single goal for their protest: getting President Obama to tell the Treasury to stop issuing debt and start issuing United States Notes, the Money of the People. By this simple act of policy, the President can:

    1. Make our credit rating as a country moot;
    2. Unleash the effect of his and his predecessor's stimulus on the economy by freeing up money currently tied up in T-bills, T-notes and T-bonds; and
    3. Allow for further tax decreases AND spending increases for as long as we are in this Great Depression.

    I have many other ideas in the second edition of my book, "Popular Capitalism", but this one idea would get our economy moving again.

    October 5, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smokingman

      Better to just dissolve our country and join another than watch your ideas destroy it and leave it for the vultures.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. krwood

    The Occupy Wall Street movement have much less to do with the emergency bailouts from the federal government and much more to do with the system of capitalism that create that malfunction. Ultimately Americans will have to decide if we want to look like China who over the past several decades have put its businesses first and its people second. Economic growth at the expense of its peoples health and welfare. Children living in villages downstream from factories with extremely high cancer rates. That's what the EPA does for us, and without that safety net we would be without protection from the greed that consumerism demands.

    1. I strongly disagree with the result of the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case in 2010. (corporate personhood)
    2. I disagree with the Obama Health Insurance program BECAUSE I would have liked to have seen an attempt to create a Health Care program. Saving us all 3% on a business that makes up 17% of our economy. (dont sell me insurance and tell me its health care)
    3. I feel that the workers of a company should have a say in what they do. Joint decisions on whether the factory should be closed or moved overseas would probably lead to better bargaining from unions and workers in non-union states. With the burdens of insurance on private companies American companies really cant afford to compete in any manufacturing that is below the highest grade of product. (that burden would be lifted with a one payer healthcare system)

    October 5, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. theotherjimmyolson

    The answer is very simple; repeat after me " we want our freekin' money back" Is that simple enough for you.

    October 5, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • JRS ONE

      The banks paid back their bailout money and then some. Going home now?

      October 8, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jordan Hofer

    The protesters are responding to the complete success of the Social Darwinist agenda, the enacted belief that the rich are genetically ordained to be rich and that the poor are weak organisms to be culled from the herd. Nature is cruel enough as it is. Humans have a choice to help or to hurt. The rich want to hurt the masses in order to exact as much wealth from them as possible, and don't believe for a second that the ultra-elite even consider us human. We are chattel. George Carlin was right on when he said the rich don't give a f*** about us. They would much rather have us die than help us. Remember the bone-chilling mob-cheer responding to the call to "Let him die!" at Ron Paul's speech and at the debate. This is class warfare and we have lost the war.

    October 5, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jules

    Really people??? Let me Google that for you: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Occupy+Wall+Street+Demands

    October 5, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. spike theartist

    There is no one simple demand, because there is no one simple problem, and certainly there is no one simple answer. But it is clear that there is a growing disparity between the very rich and the rest of us, both economically and politically. Great, the bailout money got paid back – but meantime thousands of people lost their homes because of the shenanigans of brokers and bankers who paid no penalty for their knowing wrongdoing. The bailouts were another top-down solution, and those just don't work. Why couldn't the US government lend homeowners the money to pay down their mortgages, thereby saving their homes and the banks? Because ordinary homeowners do not matter to the government or the banks or the multinational corporations.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • JRS ONE

      Why couldn't homeowners pay their own mortgage? Oh thats right, they were greedy and borrowed too much.

      October 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
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