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. jonnyboy

    its the murdoch owned media folks.....

    October 4, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. wow

    fox news and fair coverage, hahahahaha. the republican channel.
    the ones stiring the pot and making the country so polarized.

    October 4, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. PJL500

    Wall Street's J P Morgan bought off the NYPD yesterday with a $4.5M "donation." This will not work any more.

    October 4, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. me

    Great pictures CNN...of the 1000s of people all around the country protesting in various cities, you showed some zombies..we know why...

    Well at least people with computers do not have to stick to one site..they have to go elsehwhere to get real news and are able to see for self what is really happening

    How about doing the country a favor and use CNN to help the country with real reporting and when 700 people get arrested..you would think it would be real news...

    In any event..protests will continue and try as Cnn will to down play...there are real people with real concerns

    October 4, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ExLonghorn

    Actually crones, i assumed nothing. Unfortunately, your grammar/spelling is so atrocious that I can't figure out what else you're trying to say. I'm a huge Ron Paul fan, and I dislike the current state of our nation as much as anyone, but people are so illogical that I feel the need to call B.S. on their thinking. Sure, get mad at Wall Street. So what. If you all actually pull your money out of banks, and pay off all your credit cards, mortgages, car loans, etc., then at least I'd respect what you're doing. i just think you're pointing all that frustration at the wrong group of folks.

    October 4, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Curtis Shanks

    get a job losers !

    October 4, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • AthensGuy

      u hiring?

      October 4, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Scottish Mama

    Republicans and Dems unite, Middle class this is our time this is our movement. Old and young, unite we need to do it now. We need to run against the old boys and be middle to fix our nation. It is not about abortion, it is the economy and how it is run. Unite and stop fighting we want the same things for our country. We want her healthy and working.
    The banks and the inept government is our problem. The wealthy are laughing at our divided country. Unless we unite and fix it we are failures to our children and us as a nation. Unite.

    October 4, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • tmcsr69

      Why don't you get involved and make a difference. Run for office and change the countries laws.

      October 4, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Cop

    "The words of the prophet are written on the subway wall".

    October 4, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Is it peace on earth was all it said or are you keeping us in suspense?

      October 4, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Name

      and tenement halls...

      October 4, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • mikey

      And it echos...with the sound...of salesmen. Of salesmen. Of salesmen!

      October 4, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. steve

    these people crack me up. the tea party movement could not have just been a grass roots effort by people frustrated with the wastefulness of the government but the occupy whatever movement is completely spontaneous.

    October 4, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Messier

    What a bunch of sheep. They have been bought by a political machine and which one has yet to be determined. Who is paying for the permits? The food? The computers and Wi-Fi hotspots? The zombie makeup? I know there is a lot of trust fund money in SoHo and the Village, but this is too much. If these guys had half a brain they'd be trying to change the system from the inside, not parading around like a bunch of morons. And why are they there again? I've seen about a half dozen interviews with these illiterates and still have no idea what the end game is. American FALL is right...

    I tell you, you cry "protest" in NYC, and the hipsters will respond in kind.

    October 4, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chinatown

      yeah, 1000s of hipsters, old and young, have united all across the nation to protest corruption......do you try to be so ignorant or does it come naturally?

      October 4, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Hipster = think they are smarter then they really are and demand things that they have not earned.

      October 4, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. dahai

    Shameful to Goldman sachs, Deutsche bank & Pimco, china stocks shed more than 22% from April 13 ,as they bullish china stocks.

    cited as following:

    Pimco Is ‘Large Overweight’ on China, Predicts Earnings Growth in Region
    By Belinda Cao and Sara Eisen – Apr 14, 2011 12:42 AM GMT+0900Apr 13, 2011 11:42 PM CT

    Pacific Investment Management Co., manager of the world’s largest mutual fund, is buying Chinese stocks on the prospect for earnings growth as monetary tightening eases.
    The emerging-market equity fund has a “large overweight in China,” where financial and property stocks are attractive and Pimco has a “favorable view of the yuan,” said Maria Gordon, who was hired last year to manage the fund. An underweight rating in Brazil reflects “better value elsewhere,” and some shares in India and Turkey are “likely to become cheaper before they start to rise,” she said.
    China’s fourth interest-rate increase in six months, announced April 5, spurred strategists at four of the world’s biggest banks to recommend stocks in the fastest-growing major economy. Credit Suisse Group AG boosted its 12-month forecast for the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, HSBC Holdings Plc increased its rating on China to “overweight,” and Macquarie Group Ltd. said investors should lift holdings. Citigroup Inc. advised buying options to bet on gains.
    “This is the space wherein companies trade at a significant discount to their net asset values,” Gordon, formerly a portfolio manager at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “We look for companies that may have been affected by cyclical adversity, where the earnings story is likely to be better once the story is normalized.”
    Bullish Forecasts
    The recommendations, which follow bullish forecasts last month from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG, signal confidence that Premier Wen Jiabao’s government will curb the fastest inflation since 2008 without derailing growth in an economy forecast by the World Bank to expand 9 percent in 2011.
    The price-earnings ratio of the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, or H-share index, is 22 percent below its five-year average after profits surged 32 percent last year, beating analysts’ estimates, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
    “We’ve seen 18 months of macro-prudential measures under way,” said Gordon. “We’ve also seen the reflection of those worries in the equity market.”
    The gauge of 40 Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong, known as the H-share index, has dropped 0.1 percent since the People’s Bank of China began raising interest rates in October, trailing an 8 percent gain in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. When China’s borrowing costs increased a similar amount from October 2004 through March 2007, the index jumped 113 percent.
    ‘Upside Potential’
    Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. raised its share-price estimates for Chinese banks in a report yesterday, saying lenders may extend recent rallies on first-quarter earnings.
    The Hong Kong-traded shares of Chinese banks including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. “still have about 10 percent upside potential from the current valuations in the near term,” after outperforming the market by 8 percent to 9 percent since mid-February, analysts including Mike Werner and Wangshu Qiu said in the report.
    China’s currency has strengthened 1.1 percent versus the dollar this year, following a 3.5 percent appreciation in 2010.
    Pimco EqS Emerging Markets, the fund managed by Gordon, is part of a push into equities by Newport Beach, California-based Pimco, which has been synonymous with bond investing since it was co-founded by Bill Gross four decades ago.
    ‘Structural’ Growth
    Emerging-market nations have “very significant structural growth opportunities” and “strong-trend earnings growth” in comparison with developed-market peers over three to five years, Gordon said. “Bubble and risk have faded partly because of the worries about the mid-cycle rebalancing,” she said.
    The MSCI emerging-market index has climbed 3 percent this year, trailing a 4.5 percent gain for advanced-country shares. China’s Shanghai Composite Index has risen 8.6 percent this year, after losing 14.3 percent in 2010. India’s Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index has fallen 4 percent, while Brazil’s Bovespa Index has declined 3.4 percent.
    In Brazil, there’s “clearly a disconnect” between “the amount of infrastructure and its growth rate it is exhibiting,” Gordon said. “When the output gap closes you’ll have inflationary pressures. So we’re experiencing the need for that mid-cycle rebalancing.”
    Gordon said her fund also has holdings in Kazakhstan, where there are “stock-specific opportunities.”
    To contact the reporters on this story: Belinda Cao in New York at lcao4@bloomberg.net; Sara Eisen in New York at seisen2@bloomberg.net
    To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net

    October 4, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dj

      To leave this country to the neocons, we'll stay in the dark ages for years to come. Neocons do not not want to move forward with clean energy, fast moving rails..etc...etc..The dirty oil companies have lined the politicians pockets with cash to prevent it...

      October 5, 2011 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
  12. Anonymous

    When I see people doing something that I have no interest in, or that I think is a waste of time, I just go about my business and think that everyone should follow their own light. I don't try to get them to stop what they are doing. It would never even occur to me to do that. So I wonder why the people who are opposed to the protests don't just ignore it. Why do they feel compelled to try to get people to stop? That seems to be that main note coming from the pro-government corruption side. Don't, don't, don't protest. Stop, stop, stop protesting. Do you guys do that when you see strangers at the cinema going to see a movie that you are not interested in seeing? Do you poke your nose in other people's business and try to get them to stop doing what they like and to instead do what you like? Or do you just overlook it? I am just trying to understand why so many people who are in favor of government corruption are trying so hard to get people who are opposed to government corruption to stop protesting. Anyone have any insights?

    October 4, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Scottish Mama

    I think the young man who is on the podcast is speaking clearly and is stating what is a view that we can all agree stop the sensationalism jounalistic view and give us the scoop and give us some information to make decisions to keep our country economically viable. McDonalds is a job, but we are all better than that and try living on that. Losing millions of jobs lost homes and made the forclosures. The loans that were given by banks were sold and resold to other banks as markers, along side of hedge funds and the house of cards could no longer support itself. We have to buy made in america. Go back to boycotting the people that are destroying us. Supporting our own farmers and if you have a farm it must be a working farm and not a write off for wealthy city folk. The middle class can rule if we unite and choose people who want us to succeed, not with their hands in our pockets but people with some brains that can make intelligent suggestions to pull our bums out of this.

    October 4, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Someone has to dig the ditches and flip the burgers....those that screwed off at school and jerk around are usually the ones that do it. Sucks when your lazyness comes home to roost.

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

      This whole economic condition we are in for years now has been caused by Wall Street..No question about it...

      October 5, 2011 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  14. Steve

    I best most of the people in the protest have no idea what the are protesting...I bet most of them could not write a paragraph about Capitalism. Its funny seeing people protest "corporations" yet wear cloths made by corporations, use cellphones made by corporations, eat food made by corporations, and probably play video games made by corporations. All these people want is more free stuff and shun the people that actully work hard to earn a living. If they can do better, why dont they start a corporation of their own and give everyone free healthcare, great retirements and high pay?

    October 4, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. duane

    funny, everyone wants there401k to go up but they hate wall street. how dumb.......maybe one of these kids could become pres now, they "organizized" a protest! lol
    prez Obama is in way over his head and they can't protest him, so protest wall street.....chums..........

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