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. jim

    They make the tea party look normal. Scary.

    October 4, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • cwestions

      I'm sorry, but NOTHING makes the Tea Party look normal.

      October 4, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. StormTK421

    Is it stupid of me to think that things will get violent before much else can happen?
    Hopefully that's false, but who do we put on trial for what? We find that out and we can start actually changing something.
    I am glad to see these guys out and showing that a lot of america is upset.
    P.S. Love the zombies too =^_^=

    October 4, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Name*dennis

    its about time someone had the courage to do something. if you are talking bad about the people protesting you should stop and trash talk yourself for not doin something. at least these people are bein heard. save your trash talkin for something that deserves it. lets see.... how about corporate america?

    October 4, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • SHLOMO

      You guys don't know how good you have it in this country.

      October 4, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ Jim:
    Yes, anybody with common sense will realize that this sight is scary.
    The scariest thing is not that these demonstrators might overthrow our government, but what would happen after the did take over the government.

    October 4, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justy

      Its scary to think they're sticking up for you...these people are intelligent and articulate. Research presidential candidates like Ron Paul. I think he'd be a great star. After all, it's all for you, the least you can do is get behind it

      October 4, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • cwestions

      Last time I checker, government was located in D.C. And besides, how is that scarier than Wall Street having taken over government from the inside? That's the real terror, because it's true-to-life.

      October 4, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Justy

    CNN, why is there so little televised coverage of this. Don't you want to be the media catalyst for change. Someone has to be. Get it before its gone!

    October 4, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. WIL69R

    Bunch of WACKOS

    October 4, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. NW1000

    What a bunch of doofusses.
    Look at them.
    I thank God my kids did NOT turn out like this.

    October 4, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • cwestions

      Yeah, too bad they're standing up for the wrong they see in society and demanding change. What are your kids up to right now???

      October 4, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • tookymoney

      WOW what nutjobs. Peacefully protesting in the manner of our great forefathers who peacefully protested against injustice by the British government? Rabid maniacs. Please, somebody delude these kids with mindless entertainment and keep them from making the world a better place. I too hope they become lifeless drones like your kids so that we can stop the world from progressing further.

      October 4, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. teedofftaxpayer

    Now we need to move off Wall Street and take it to the rich neighborhoods. Show them the middleclass isn't going to pay their way any more. Put panic in the eyes of the rich by marching in their neighborhoods.

    October 4, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      They have gated communities, were the mere middle class is not welcome.

      October 4, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • SHLOMO

      The rich puts food on the tables for you and people like you.

      October 4, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • MiddleClassMother

      I certainly applaud people who stand up for their beliefs and aren't afraid to speak their mind. However, at least so far, I'm not really clear what the Wall Street protestors are asking for or who they're asking it from. My husband works on "Wall Street" (and I used to years ago) but we are by NO means wealthy. We are solidly middle class. We have both worked VERY hard our entire lives to get where we are (multiple undergraduate and graduate degrees between us, years of incredibly long work weeks (80-100 hours/week), saving as much money as we can, while at the same time making generous contributions of our time and money to charitable causes), and I'm getting a bit tired of hearing about how "evil" we are simply because my husband's paycheck comes from a financial company. In fact, if I had to venture a guess I'd say that 95% of the people who work on Wall Street are very much like us. Not living paycheck to paycheck (since when did that become something that anyone would actually aspire to?) but working hard, living frugally, and certainly not living in a gated community. Are there some people who have earned tremendous wealth by working on Wall Street? Of course. Does it make me angry that a CEO who has worked at a company for less than a year earns a severance bonus in the tens of millions of dollars for doing absolutely nothing? Hell yes. Are there things that could be improved about the way Wall Street works? Absolutely! But those who hope to bring about change need to be very careful about where they're directing their anger, and they need to be at least moderately clear about what they want to see changed, or else their efforts will be wasted ones. Right now it sounds like Wall Street is an easy scapegate for the general anger and frustration and feeling of helplessness that we're all feeling about this economy. I believe Occupy Wall Street really needs to be Occupy The Capitol, or better yet, Occupy K Street (where all of the lobbyists work).

      October 4, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cogito

      Sorry SHLOMO, I (CAPITAL I) put food on my table, not any other taxpayer, not any government agency, and certainly not some wall street loser who simply shifts numbers from column A to column B & doesn't actually perform any labor or actually make anything of value.

      October 4, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. urScrabble

    Yes they turned out like you, Couch potato. God has nothing to do with your laziness. Just walk on by.

    October 4, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sean

    People of New England, NY, and surrounding states... show these patriots your support this weekend and stand with them in NYC. They are putting forth a huge effort to make changes to a country that has lost its way. This rejection of Wall Street and its hired government has been decades in the making. The sleeping giant is waking up. Be a part of the change and stand with your fellow Americans for a just cause. Stand with Occupy Wall Street.

    October 4, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. tony

    Who's behind these benign protests? Frustrated Americans that's who. And if we don't watch it....The crowds will grow!

    October 4, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Scottish Mama

    I think maybe they are saying we are zombies to the system? We are not seeing what is the real reason of this economic crisis. I think the person who suggested the "Inside Job" has a clue. I think everyone should at least take a look at it. I find it to be quite scary.

    October 4, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mr. John

    @stormTk421 , they know who is accountable! Karma is coming, please don't let them take your inner peace because that's exactly what they want! They want to say look at all those silly hippie or young slackers! I just saw that Matt Damon is the narrator of the film, Inside Job!!! It's going to be huge!!!

    Tell everyone you know about the movie!!!! I am so happy!!! For everyone who lost their homes, business, job and lively hood!!! Because guess what? The TRUTH SETS YOU FREE!!!!!!

    I mean I lost a home a business!!! But I did not lose my peace love and happiness!!! They cannot take that from me!!!

    Anyways please everyone google or yahoo Inside Job, narrator is Matt Damon!!! Facebook it and tweet it or what ever.

    Love and peace to all because that is all we need!!!!

    October 4, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. CapitalismGoneWile

    Seems to me the media is working very hard to trivialize this movement. I wonder why that could be. Am I just being paranoid?

    October 4, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob Dole

      You are not. CNN is actually very good about just listing facts with a little left bias but for the most part they truly are the most fair Major News Network. MSNBC is kinda far right and FOX well everyone knows how FAUX FOX is. Any who. Neither of the far right or far left can quite get what the whole thing is all about. And really I think that is the point of these rallys. I dont think of them as FAR RIGHT FAR LEFT just a bunch of people who are tired of being trampled. Its happened in our countries past before now its happening again. This is Generation Y (some X) taking over the reigns of the Baby Boomers. The same way the Boomers did to their predecessors during the counter culture revolution. They said in the 60s they were fighting for equal rights and to end the war in vietnam so what are they protesting about now? Greed and how big corpations pay off our government officials. When people say hey just vote for someone else. Well that person ends up getting bought out too. Corporations can not be put up for adaption can not be put on death row can not be put in prison for doing illegal things. Corporations ARE NOT PEOPLE.

      October 4, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. SHLOMO

    Bin Laden triggered all of this. Put him on trial

    October 4, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
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