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. jordan scene©

    Slowly but surely cnn is catching on that this is kind of a big deal. Glad the people of occupywallstreet are getting some more exposure.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • RillyKewl


      October 4, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • EatThemUpYum

      A bunch of unemployed 20 somethings are camping out and playing zombie in NYC instead of working their butts off to find work? Why is this "kind of a big deal"?!

      October 4, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justy

      I'd say they're working pretty hard so that you, you're children and they're children aren't slaves to a broken system. People think it everyday. Finally, someone is trying to do something about it. Watch this..copy and paste this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZmPWcLQ1Mk&feature=player_embedded

      October 4, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • rwdragon86

      I guess this is easier than getting out and working your butt off. Oh well, a handout is always easier. Epic Fail. You guys are LOSERS.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bimbo the Birthday Clown

    Yawn. A better question is, how long before everyone completely forgets about this.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    The bigger question is what good will it do?

    October 4, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Peanuts

    Damn hippies! And we all thought NYC smelled bad already. These people have been hanging out in the park for over 2 weeks with no showers. They would probably smell better coming out from a swim in the Hudson River at this point.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justy

      Nice, wake up and stop the sarcasm. you're blind to what's happening. There's nothing wrong with getting a little fired up. So get up off your middle class couch, get in your average middle class car, and do something cuz it's all disappearing and these "smelly hippies" are the only ones who have the guts to stand up with passion. Get with it, or get left behind!

      October 4, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Scottish Mama

    The larger it becomes the more attention, the more noise they make the more problems with government voiced the more they will listen. These are our voters. Take your pick on what is wrong with out government, we have alot to choose from these days. All you washington senate and congress better listen, it is the voice of tomorrows votes, all your jobs are at risk.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • RillyKewl

      Hey Joe, I hope you lose your job tomorrow + don't find another one for a few years. Lets see how you like it.

      October 4, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • jay1975

      This is a DNC astroturf movement. They saw what a year of TEA Party protests did for the 2010 election and are trying their hand for 2012. When will the Dems call this group terrorists? After all, hundreds of this group have been arrested versus how many arrests after a few years of TEA Party protests.

      October 4, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      @Jay1975-I think this is middle america. I think this is the tea partiers that were not high-jacked by the far right. I think middle is were it is at and we are demanding more of a middle class revolt for the middle class and both parties better listen or they will be a thing of the past. For the people and by god the real american middle class.

      October 4, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • rwdragon86

      sniff sniff. poor baby

      October 5, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Anonymous

    Our demands:

    1. Make it illegal for government officials to accept bribes (e.g., campaign donations, lobbying "favors") from corporations.

    2. Legislate penalties for corporations that outsource jobs.

    3. Raise taxes on the top 2% of income earners to 75% to pay down the national debt. Then gradually reduce the rate until it reaches the right level.

    We have more demands, but those are the main ones.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      your an idot and what your asking for is communism. your young dumb and a porduct of our educations system. i don't blame you.

      October 4, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • CW

      Brian, I always find it funny when people call each other idiots and then fail at basic grammar. Well done.

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

      Not to mention that what Anonymous is asking for is not Communism. You could at least try to educate yourself on the topic before you make an outrageous claim such as that.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Majric

      Stunning ignorance, truly stunning. What do you think a corporation is anyway? It's a group of PEOPLE with a common interest, i.e. making money from their savings. Same as any other group of people with a common interest like environmental groups. Want to ban Sierra Club from donating to politicians? NARAL? Unions? The largest owners of corporate stock are pension funds, you know, peoples retirement savings. Punish companies for outsourcing production is dumb too. most production sent offshore is for sales off shore. Lower costs enable you to sell to places with a much lower cost of living and wages. Make it here and then can't export it because no one overseas an afford to buy it. Brilliant.

      Raise taxes on the top 2% of tax payers is a sure way to colapse the economy. That is money that is coming out of the pockets of those who are earning it from the top 2%. In 93 the Dems passed the Luxury Tax. 10% added to expensive cars, boats and planes. In 6 months 33,000 Marylanders in the boat building industry lost their jobs because the people who used to be able to afford the boats no longer could. What do you think will happen when you confiscate an extra 50% of peoples earnings? Ya think there's a chance they may have to cut way back on spending? How about lowering the thresholds for tax payment since 50% of wage earners pay nothing. Thats right the lower half pay nothing but take the biggest portion of services and demand more because they get it for free anyway. Too amny people are riding in the wagon but too few are pushing.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Citizen Twain

      What is being requested is not communism. It is fair. The American People are tired of being screwed by the top 1 percent. STOP IT!!! Or we will all be out in the street and you won't make anything. They learned this lesson in the 30's but apparently you have not. You don't starve 99 percent of the population and get away with it.

      October 4, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rex Regum

      Brian, "you're an idiot" and you are obviously a "porduct" of our education system. Please don't breed if you haven't already.

      October 4, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. RillyKewl

    When the perpetrators of the Credit Default Swaps are taken away in handcuffs, we will see justice beginning to take hold.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sara Bean

    These 20-something's are our nation's future . . . enough said.

    They are the ones who need to be serious, and go get themselves a job instead of participating in this futile protest

    October 4, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Carr

      Sarah, Were it not for young people willing to get off of their butts and protest, we would probably still be in Viet Nam and still wouldn't have a voting rights act. I can remember during the 1960's, old people said the same thing about us.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • boilerchick

      Actually, these 20-somethings are Canada's future. This protest has been imported from our friends to the north. Explains a lot.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Cork Screw CNN

    Gotta love CNN's censorship: they love to nuke posts which follow their pos ToS.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. chrissy

    hey peanut watch urself buster lmao i kinda resemble that remark (the hippee one) lol

    October 4, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Stupidity

    Don't these people have real jobs or school? Please go home and attend to your families,

    October 4, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rex Regum

      Yes they do. I currently go to school (paying my own way so none of this "wasting mommy and daddy's money" crap), and when not in class I spend time at the protest.

      October 4, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. one of those 20-somethings

    Listen we are being serious. We are the ones who have to inherit a country that you fools are running into the ground!

    October 4, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Janice Prado

      You have been suckered. The vast majority of protestors are not dressed like this. Get a freaking clue.

      October 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bimbo the Birthday Clown

      ***SARCASM ALERT****

      I was there 20 years ago, kid. Eventually your hopes and dreams will be crushed like mine.

      October 4, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Janice Prado

    The picture accompying the artictile is a sad attempt to make the 99% of us look like lunatics. Disgusting journalism. The vast majority of protestors do not dress up like this. Disgusting.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • EatThemUpYum

      Get a job loser.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melissa

      Exactly. CNN is in the corporate pocket, they need to try and make this go away. They are only doing their part. I'm sure they are upset that no riots have taken place, it would be much easier for them to smear this movement if people actually fought back. It's obvious to most people what CNN is trying to do. Well, it won't work. It hasn't so far. Nor have the mas arrests. They are only making it stronger. When you have thousands of people across the country who know that they way this movement portrayed is false, it only makes them want to protest more. They can keep trying to spin it, but it isn't working now and it won't in the future. The people who don't like this movement will be cynical and find something wrong with it at every turn, so that doesnt matter-those people can't be convinced. Thankfully they are the minority.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. bobcat2u.

    Granted they are getting a lot more attention now, but the question is what exactly are they trying to accomplish ?
    Yes, I know they are trying to bring attention to the corruption on wall street, but who in this entire world doesn't already know about ?!
    And just because they are gathering in the heart of the business district, how do they feel it is going to change anything ?
    I know they fashioned this protest after the arab spring uprisings, but that was specifically about regime change.
    So, what is the actual purpose of this ?

    October 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Melissa

    The best part about this article is how CNN is STILL trying to spin this. LOL

    Nice picture by the way, not surprising at all that a picture like that would be chosen to accompany the article. Well, we get what you're trying to do. It hasn't worked so far, but you can keep spinning if you like CNN. We know whats really going on, we know how you want this to go away, we know that how you portray this movement is a direct reflection of how you feel about it, and we know that you're lying to people and cherry picking ridiculous photos and coupling them with cynical reviews. Keep it up if you want, but it wont work.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Well said @Melissa. I'm surprised they didn't whack your post. They've removed one of mine that pretty-much said the same thing.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
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