Who are the voices behind the protests, movement to #OccupyWallStreet?
Protesters dressed as corporate zombies march past the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.
October 4th, 2011
03:06 PM ET

Who are the voices behind the protests, movement to #OccupyWallStreet?

Protesters have been camping out at New York’s Zuccotti Park for more than two weeks.

What started as call to action by Adbusters, a Canadian anti-consumer organization, to protest greed and corruption in Manhattan's Financial District has grown into a catch-all movement of dissent and frustration with current norms.

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

Fueled by social media, the protests have persisted and have begun to attract mainstream attention. By now, the Occupy Wall Street event is attracting a lot of street musicians and tourists.

The atmosphere appears more festive than angry.

View a high-resolution gallery of the protests

Those assembled say there is no leadership, but there’s plenty of organization. Food continues to be donated, and protesters take shifts for things such as sanitation duty in which they sweep the park. There are no restrooms, but there are plenty of fast-food restaurants and coffee shops nearby for bathroom breaks.

“It’s the '60s without the drugs,” says Jennifer Jager, who lives near the park and has been watching and visiting the protesters.

“A lot of them who started it are younger than my son,” she says.

CNN’s Susanna Capelouto and Jonathan Binder spent an afternoon with the protesters and sent this audio postcard:

You can also listen to the CNN Radio Reports podcast on itunes or subscribe to the podcast here.

soundoff (547 Responses)
  1. hoofin-it

    @Jeff do it for the rest of the year and then a few more months til next election. I know I have been trying it is hard. So you see our plight as a nation in action. We have to try to support us as a nation. I have been trying to find X-mas presents. Good luck with your american made business and do not forget to market as just that AMERICAN MADE.
    @shela- I will look at all tags, it will prompt the businesses to look to american, and they will speak for us with money.

    October 5, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Willard Kowalczuk

    Let's get back to the 'scratch my back and I'll scratch yours' concept. Buy American when you can but most of all support American business. When we support each other it will go along way to putting America back to work. Supporting with your $$$ those companys that make stuff overseas or have their headquarters outside of the US won't cut it. We are all responsible for the state of our country, let's own up to that fact and turn things around. We have to spread the word and get our people motivated starting with small business... it is the backbone of our country. Many small businesses ask for support of the local community and America as a whole to say alive and feed their families. They need to return the favor... buy from their customers, buy American and support our country. Attention American businesses... google search 'buy american labels' or 'support america labels'. Put labels on your invoices, proposals, work orders and envelopes... help get the message out. We're serious about putting America back to work and going to do our part. What about you?

    October 5, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bille walters

    Has anyone hears that not only are bank of america chargin 5.00 for the privledge of useing their debit card but citi bank joined in today. also credit card companies in minnisoda (i think thats the state) are chargeing 2% on credit cards for people who use their credit cards to tip waitress. They take away 2% of their tips. Waitress only earn minuim wage at best. When I was a waitress I never even earned that I made 2.01 and hour plus tips that had to be reported. why do they screw over those that need help the most?

    October 5, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. red

    The problem is that the political system is corrupt. We all perceive that the people we vote-in office are working for us, but that is far from the truth.

    Wall St is NOT the only one that has hijacked the government, it is also Lawyers/Law Firms, Real Estate, Health, Lobbyists, Energy, Unions, etc, and special interest controls the government. If you have money, government will do for you…look it up, it is an open secret.

    It’s a joke that unions are backing the Wall St. protestors, when unions give large amounts of donations to the Democrats. You know who also gives large donations to the Democratic Party?
    Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase & Co, etc…the same Wall St. Crowd that people is protesting against. They give to both political parties in so many different ways…look it up, it is an open secret.

    The protest down at Wall St. should be taking place in Washington. The two party systems is a joke, they are both the same, if you have money, they will do for you.

    October 5, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. George Todd

    First off I want to say that I’m a capitalist and I believe that all the protesters are also capitalists – these people just believe that a portion of our free enterprise system has taken advantage of them and they need to have their views known- I love living in a country where this can happen no matter how you view this protest… but these protestors should really take matters into their own hands… Take the US Banks which they are protesting about- why don’t these protestors unite and start their own bank!! The best way to protest your feeling is to hurt the banks in their pocketbook – my god the major unions are backing you and they have TONS of money invested with many of the companies that you are protesting. Maybe it’s a little crazy but just think of the possibilities of uniting people of like minds to build a bank that will respect your views on profits and use of funds… only in America could this happen and it could happen today and think of the message that this would send to big banks!!

    October 5, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bubbaj100

    no drugs no hippie this must be the real thing.wish i could be there.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. bubbaj100

    my friends and family close our accounts with bank of american.they said they might have the last laugh.well not so here you lost 25 accounts today. so we got the last laugh.people should treat bank of american just like we did netflixs just say no thank you,we will go else where. thank you bank of american. ha ha ha ha ha

    October 5, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Orion

    Audit the Fed. End the Fed. Fed up? That's what that means. Level the field of campaign finance, corporations held to the same as ordinary citizens. Close the revolving door between wallstreet an government by allowing congress to appoint the treasury secretary, and return the power of currency and credit to congress. Clear criminal activity from the financial sector needs to be punished by federal jury trial period, no more waiting, no more bailout. End the ability of government servants in all branches and beaurocracies to exempt themselves and cooperations from the laws and regulations held to the average citizen of this country. crony-monopolism is the word

    October 6, 2011 at 3:10 am | Report abuse |
  9. George Odom

    If you Listen to CNN and Fox News slant for GOP and Tea party news you probably dont even realize the missleading of this artical, or the agenda behind it. The majority of America is Fed up not just the jobless, small business, under employed, and SS recipients that are discounted voices in America. The overly advantaged are going to clash with disadvantaged Having the easy way out of spending for influence instead of Paying thier on way and riding things out like everyone else.

    October 6, 2011 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  10. mb

    If you are doubting the aim or frustration expressed by the people taking to the streets, Mike Norman is crystal clear about some of the tangible inequties here:
    this off course does not address the many other concerns of systematic corruption, elitism and money based lines of influence that plaques our 'democracy'.
    The power of the movement is that it is so needed! SO MANY things are wrong with our society that we need many diverse voices to come out and help us get back on track.

    October 6, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  11. Afterword

    Big money has been packing its bags and sending them overseas for years now (jobs, investments, etc.) It will soon be gone. There are greener pastures in China, India and Brazil.

    America needs big money – but big money no longer needs America.

    It is too late for protest.

    October 10, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
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