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. Anon99%

    Accountability, that's all I want; in all levels and forms of society. Accountability in government, the fed, corporations, campaign finance, unions, etc.... anyone that takes a significant role in the lives of the public (ie. government, politics, the economy, the environment) should be held accountable for their actions and be open for scrutiny by the people. No need to redistribute wealth or anything of that sort, but if the 99% of people didn't receive a bailout or extremely low interest loan from the fed, why should corporations? Why should corporations be treated like people when it comes to speech but not held to the same standards in everything else?

    I may not be able to take part of Occupy the majority of the time since I have a job (I'm one of the luckier 99%) but you have my support in other ways, including donations for food and other needs (gotta make sure you guys stay fed and energetic!).

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

      The protesters are losers. They are the product of "Village Rearing" and "No Score" Teeball. Can't compete. They let Chinamen and mexicans steal their jobs. Now they want decent Americans to be screwed so that they can get Ipads, Tattos and Piercings. F.Y.

      October 4, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • pwd

      Accountability???? You forgot the all the average Joe's that over leveraged themselves or the ones that lied on their mortgage applications.

      October 4, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • TC

      "Should be held accountable for their actions and be open for scrutiny by the people." Well let's take your point to the opposite spectrum of society...how might we hold accountable those who engage in promiscuity, the high school dropouts, baby mamas, absent fathers, welfare frauds, spreaders of AIDS, cybercriminals, those too lazy to seek a job, etc.?

      When do the normal everyday taxpayers get to protest them for being anchors around our necks?

      October 4, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • bojo

      Jobs !!!!!!!!!! Looking at the photo, all I see is nitwits. No wonder no one will hire these losers.

      October 5, 2011 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  2. wilson

    again, go to blame China, as the politicians always do. China's currency rate is undervalued, but how about India? Mexico? and all other developing counties? you will find currencies of these countries are much more under valued. It is common sense that a country is less developed, that the prices will be cheaper in these counties. The politicians now fool you people again. always blame China, it was easy, simple and naive

    October 4, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • President Andrew Jackson

      I like your comment which is blaming others for what's is happening Ugly America. Blaming others has always been the America way because the Americans believe anything in which Americans has been the dumbest people on earth. I hope they are waking up now!

      October 5, 2011 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
  3. mw

    Once American youth get aroused over an issue, nothing can stop them, not even National Guardsmen shooting 30.06 rounds into them (a la Kent State.) The right has painted such a bleak picture of America and now they are surprised that somebody was actually listening! The right sees the Wall Street Protesters as the Anti-Tea Party and they are right and they are afraid.

    October 4, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • S1N

      The National Guard did a wonderful job of stopping the protesters at Kent State. While I generally sympathize with protesters, the Kent State "massacre" was well deserved. If someone in a crowd touches a soldier's rifle, they are fair game. Whether the protester had violent intent is irrelevant. At the time the weapon was touched by a protester, the crowd became a legitimate threat.

      If you want to protest, either keep your hands off the establishment's guns, or take them all away and use them first. Any other choice is an invitation to have your fellow protesters shot.

      October 4, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cogito

      S1N : Are you so reprehensible & repugnant that you are actually defending shooting UNARMED protestors?

      October 4, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mike

    MORE COVERAGE!!! CNN is part of this mess. Take government back from corporations!!!! Very simple message.

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

      CNN is doing a poor job. They are not covering this important news instead of CNN has in the first page Amanda Knox.
      Is she more important than the things are happing in wall st. protest? we don't know if this girl is inocent or guilty. Actually, who care about it?
      Thank you.-

      October 4, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mike

    It is sad how these people can be controlled like little puppets by those in the progressive movement who want a revolutionary change (IE Frances Fox Piven, Stephen Lerner, Wade Rathke…). These progressives want this event to spread, grown and turn violent. Then at some point the system collapses and they assert totalitarian control. Then the little puppets, who wanted change, are micromanaged into submission and silence.

    October 4, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. volsocal

    A mob in search of a cause. Pretty easy pickins for a forked tongue socialist like Obama.

    October 4, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Subhendu Das

    We are not approaching the root cause of the problem. Problem is not in the wall street nor in the banks. Problem is the Federal Reserve Bank. We must remove this bank. It is the source of all problems. The Nobel Laureate in economics, Milton Friedman, said: “One unsolved economic problem of the day is how to get rid of the Federal Reserve”. We must destroy it, it is root cause of all problems.

    The fed is a private bank. It is the only bank that can print money, at any time by any amount, give it to any one it wants, and without any accountability and transparency. Thus the money is free for the Fed. It should then be free for all of us. But that is not the case in reality. We must make it real. With free money no one should be controlling us. There should not be debt or deficit. The Bloomberg news claims in a law suit against the Fed that the Fed spent $12.8 trillion as the bailout money. The GDP of USA during 2008 was $14.2 trillion. The Fed is refusing to acknowledge the validity of the number on the grounds of privacy.

    So you can imagine how much money it can print. This way the Fed can destroy any country, its government, industry, and economy. It can destroy all the wealth of the people. It can make us homeless. So let us create a wing of this protest group, that will focus on the Fed and go against it and remove it.

    Since the money is free for the Fed, we really have a money less economy. It shows that we can run this same economy exactly the same way, and without money. So kill the money itself. This will solve all poverty all over the world. This free money from the Fed and the central banks all over the world are the root cause of our problems. Please investigate all the money less economy (MLE) sites on the internet. They explain how this economy can be run without money.

    For comments please write to – subhendu.das@excite.com

    October 4, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dj

      You my friend don't have a clue....

      October 5, 2011 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
  8. 19random35

    The current political and economic state of America does not reflect the will of the people. No sane liberal believes we should convert to a Stalinist or Chairman Mao version of communism. It's common knowledge the people suffered horribly under those regimes.

    But people are suffering under our current variety of capitalism that serves only the richest and ignores the well being of the masses. We need a structure that puts the middle class and poor above profits that are made off of cheap foreign labor and co-opted politicians.

    We don't need communism, we just need to fix capitalism.

    October 4, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. waheid

    CNN's coverage (see photo at head of story) is trying to trivialize this movement. CNN money had a segment where one of their stupid reporters did their best to make fun of it. CNN, like our politicians, is out of touch. Well, CNN, the movement is not funny and when this effort continues to grow, the joke will be on CNN, Inc.

    October 4, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • S1N

      They are out of touch. However, they serve as a nice counterbalance to the tea party movement. Hopefully we can find some sanity somewhere between these two extremes. Unfortunately, I do not find this likely.

      October 4, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • steveinmo

      I'd say they're trivializing it because these people are trivial in their aim. At the moment they have no purpose other than a flash mob mentality, desirous to make a statement against the "evil" society, and with no understanding of what they're protesting or even how society or the govt works. These are easily deceived people, and considering who and where this came from (Van Jones) is a very good indicaiton of what's coming from them. And that's the danger you mention, and yes, I agree, they are blind. Just as they were blind when caught up in the whole Arab Spring and we see now how that's playing out. They were warned but they ignored, they do the same now.

      October 4, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      I completely agree with waheid. David Letterman made a great statement last night in support of the protesters. While interviewing Brian Williams, he stated that these type of demonstrations are the only thing that can bring about real change in the country. CNN was making fun of them, airing a clip of one of their reporters badgering a peaceful protestor for using an Apple computer. Why are they not questioning apple as to how they justify the high prices they are charge for their devices when they are made in China and they're sitting on a big pile of money???

      October 4, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      Sorry for the poor grammar in the previous post, but the poor have a voice and they have a right to use it in America. CNN should be covering this more responsibly, after all, it's about free speech.

      October 4, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. nicholas copeland

    I wonder why CNN wont give this wall st. protest any coverage. If it was a protest in Yemen CNN would have twelve different journalists taking cover from anti air craft fire, all while giving us the story. These foreign stories give viewers a false sense of American freedom, making us think we don't have to struggle for the same freedoms. What CNN doesn't realize is that its viewers are not stupid, they have the internet. Not covering this story shows the media for what it is, a bias organism as skewed as man himself.

    October 4, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Matthew Farrell

    I'm not surprised CNN is doing its part to portray this movement as radical and aimless, but they could at least do us the honor of not being so transparent about it. This zombie photo has been up all week. I was there Saturday. I saw two or three goofy costumes out of thousands of people and there was cameras everywhere you looked. Is this really the most representative photo you can dig up?

    October 4, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mr. John

    Dear Posters,

    Keep up the great work! You all great besides the few mudslingers who think were all dumb, lol! Anyways please keep it up.

    Make sure if you can post the movie , Inside Job which was written and produced and directed by Mr. Goerge Ferguson. It has been released by Sony Classic pictures and narrated by Mr. Matt Damon! This is crucial for the movement or what I like to call, LETTING THE TRUTH SET US FREE!

    It will also hopefully wake up the people who are not quite sure why people Re on wall street!!


    October 4, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Haydenski

    Wall Street fuels corporate Americas behavior and corporate American fuels Wall Street. 'The Dow" is drilled into our conscience continually as a supposed indicator of the health of the country. This lie needs to be proven false as demonstrated the Dow doing great while the country and the 99% composing the non-filthy-rich are doing not so well. This is a call to BOYCOTT the corporations that compose the Dow. Hit the corporations and Wall Street at the same time.

    These companies are: 3M, Alcoa, American Express, AT&T, Bank of America, Boeing, Caterpillar, Chevron, Cisco, Coca Cola, Dupont, Exxon Mobil, GE, Hewlett Packard, Home Depot, Intel, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase, Kraft, McDonalds, Merck, Microsoft, Pfizer, Proctor & Gamble, Travelers, United Technologies, Verizon, Walmart, Disney.

    Granted, consumer ability to hurt the bottom line of some of these companies is limited, but let's do what we can. We can publish subsidiary and detailed product lists to boycott. Refuse to buy their products, use their services, or shop at their stores until we see some convictions of Wall Street banksters and serious reform to corporate governance. We need to put an end to excessive executive compensation, end closed boards of directors, stop shifting profits offshore to avoid US taxes, end visa abuses to import low cost labor, and outlaw political influence via lobbyists.

    Please spread the word and join the boycott. "BOYCOTT THE DOW"

    October 4, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. johnny

    Where is the report on how USA spent US$4 trillion dollars in foreign wars nobody would get involved in???

    There must be accountability by polticians for approving this wontan waste of taxpayers money. Accountability, accountability, accountability .

    October 4, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ainos

    Yes, it is a good idea, but I doubt people will follow it. "Buy from smaller manufactures, instead of big corporations". Helping small/medium business could pretty much do the work. I really wish everybody open their eyes to this.

    October 4, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
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