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. Joe

    To the ones saying for them to "go get a job" LOL What jobs? McDonalds maybe?Sorry,but slaving away at minimum wage isn't worth it.And for those that think Communism and socialism are such dirty words,its 2011,come out of the 1950s and face the reality that America isn't like "Leave it to Beaver" anymore. America,like it or not,is on the verge of imploding.Glad to see the Republicans and GOP see it as "just another day at the office".

    October 4, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Freddy

      So you are saying that there are no jobs other than minimum wage jobs and these people are too good for that? If someone REALLY wanted to work, they would take a minimum wage job. It is better than nothing. You sound like they type of person to sit on your ass until something is handed to you. Lazy!

      October 4, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Name One Place Communism has ever worked

      Don't say the NFL

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

      we lost the 50's due to radical know it all self righteous leftists.your socialists friends canbe blamed for the liar loans that the banks were forced to make under compassionate regulations.progressives are evil.and the immature nature of these idiot sheep is on display in more ways than one.just look at the zombie fad.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jonathen

      Yes Freddy, there are no other jobs out there other than minimum wage jobs. Or if you want to be more specific. There are not 250 million jobs out there that pay enough to offer people a standard of living. Are you an employer? If so, hire 250 million people, problem solved so everyone can stop complaining.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • johnny b real

      they are bad words.. NEWSFLASH – Greece, Spain...don't you people read? Socialism doesn't work because of people just like this, who are content to suckle the common good then complain that it is not enough. there is plenty wrong with the system, fairness is not the problem, false business is.

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

      "but slaving away at minimum wage isn't worth"
      Thanks for letting us know what you think of the people who DO work at McDonald's – dumb menial workers. But I guess you're much better than them, not having a job or people depending on you. I guess that makes you the leech?

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

      The new Alabama anti immigration law has taken affect. All the Mexicans are leaving. Tomato and peach farmers are needing pickers. Rep. Scott Beason can direct you the nearest farmer needing workers. He is also the sponsor of the bill if you were wondering.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • d

      LOL What jobs? McDonalds maybe. Isnt that where the protesters are going to the bathroom? So they are ok with a "slave" cleaning up after them, but not ok being a "slave" themselves? l2logic

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

      I have been out of work since July 8TH after working 18 years for one Company.All of a sudden I am told on a Friday that I am being laid-off.Now I cruise the Internet Craigslist and about 5 other jobsites daily for work.I am seeing mostly Jobs I can not do.They either have College Degrees (even though I can do this work) or they are and for the most part minumum wage dishwashing/cleaning jobs.I am a lot smarter than washing stinky dishes like a teenager.I keep looking for jobs and in the 100's I have applied for I got 2 interviews.A few of the jobs i could of done were those 3rd shift jobs that I refuse to do.I have a hard enough time sleeping as it is and am not going to stay up all night long for $9 hour !!!
      And a few other jobs that I had the skills for also said you had to lift over 50lbs or 75lbs and I am in bad shape due to some illnesses.I can definately work and work good just not lift heavier stuff all day.
      So far I am screwed !!!
      And I do support the OCCUPY Movement.It is a worthy cause and we should all work hard to end the following which is part of OCCUPY
      1.End the large Corporate Money that is given to Washington
      2.End Money Based Lobbying
      3.End the Prohibition on Marijuana Use
      I have more concerns but getting the big money out of Washington will be a good thing to do and will end this legal type of Corruption once and for all.And I think this is a big part of the problem.Politicians do not care about us and only care about their own Party and how much money they get.

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

      At least the people who are working at McDonald's for minimum wage can still feel pride in the fact that they are employed and at least attempting to provide for their families. These protesters want a free education and a high paying job handed over to them for nothing because they think they deserve it. They don't realize that in order for society to function and for innovation to occur there will always, unfortunately, be a social stratification. The way to correct that is through individual acts of charity and donating your time and effort to help others, not have the government come in and make everybody equal. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – nowhere in there does it say guaranteed. You have to earn them by rolling up your sleeves and being a man (or woman). Take responsibility for YOUR actions, and don't blame somebody else because you don't have the life you dreamed. We are Americans – with hard work and dedication we can do anything! Too many spoiled kids raised in a society where everybody gets a trophy even though you are dead last in the race.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • rwdragon86

      Oh, so McDonalds is too good for you. People like you don't deserve a job. Many people start at a place like McDonalds (me included) and use it to their advantage by learning skills and moving up in the company. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and stop feeling like you deserve a 6 figure income without busting your butt. I've worked 3 jobs when necessary and served in the military to help pull myself up and never felt like ANY of it was beneath me. Your generation is spoiled and you are a baby.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    Not me @ 4:09.
    It's the George Patton Troll, who is too afraid to find his own u/n. Next, he'll agree with himself using another name he stole.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Andy Bunker

    Misfits, malcontents, moonbats, unemployed or students skipping school, societal non-contributors, and skateboarders ... what waste of humanity

    October 4, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Let me guess... You believe in a god... Oh the waste of humanity wasted on an imaginary friend... The protests on the other hand, are seeking for for truth... It is a darn good use for humanity to protest when things are crappy...

      October 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barry G.

      No, they're Americans.

      They're the ones that made this country great, while the rich have grown wealthy on their sweat and labor.

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

      Shut up robot

      October 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Cesar The Chorizo Champ Of Chihuahua

    No drugs?
    Still pretty cool. It should be a freak show. This is more of a "gathering of the tribes" than an actual protest.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bob


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

      I hope they suceed so people like you eat it.

      October 4, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. chrissy

    Im with you scottish mama and this is the seed that will grow dont ya think?

    October 4, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • johnny b real

      and at the root of this sheep-fest, please tell me you agree and approve of me... BAAAH

      October 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Yes I agree and should grow to be the dems and republicans united not wishy washy bull malarky. Unite and make our demands to our government. Join the movement and save our country. Unite middle class.

      October 4, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sigmatic

    If you're still saying "Get a job" you're still living in ignorance and slavery.

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

      I agree with you and it's just as simplistic to say, "Wall Street is greedy."

      October 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. joey

    Even if we tax more, the government as its being run now will probably find a way to do less with it. Income inequality is at a level not seen since the Great Depression. Where is our new FDR and the new 'new deal'?

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

    The conservative right has pushed the GOP sooo far right, that now it finds itself on the left....life is beautiful. RON PAUL 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mark

    I like to wear chicken feathers and put baloney on my head. Ron Paul 2012

    October 4, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jueliet

    I can't even get a job at McDonald's. I've tried. All the fast food places. I actually started out working in high school for a restaurant. However, now I have management experience and a degree in my belt. I was honestly told, "I'm sorry, but we believe you are over qualified, and wouldn't be very content to work within our company." I am not going onto my second year of unemployment and have about 2 months worth of savings and inheritance left to cover living expenses.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joe

    US government please do not make drugs legal!!! Then alot of drug dealers and pimps will be out of jobs, and politicians will be forced to go into walgreens to get their daily dose of crack/cocaine!! God forbid that happens, then everyone will see them!!!!

    October 4, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. arthurrrr

    you know-i was actually supporting this until i had the misfortune of actually talking to some of these people. Hateful pathetic and disgusting. I totally changed my mind. Whatever they are trying to do will not work. The SPIRIT behind it is wrong. And folks,EVERYTHING is spiritual in nature.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rex Regum

      Arthurrr, I'm sorry you had a bad experience with some of the occupiers. I don't know where you're at, but the occupiers here in Chicago have been nothing but polite and pleasant people.

      October 4, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jueliet

    *now going into

    October 4, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Blind pride is our worst enemy

    It's good to be proud of who you are and of your country, but if left unchecked, that pride can leave you blind to the harsh realities that could spell the end of your greatness. Yes it's true that America for years has been the shining star of the first world, but that seems to have been mistaken for also being immune to the world's problems. If we choose to continue to view the world only through the lenses of political allegiances, whether it be Republica or Democrat, then we will continue to lose sight of the fact that we live in and share the same society. What's good for America is good for all and what's bad, is bad for all. I just hope people open their eyes soon because right now, we are very very far off the right track.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • woodstocker

      We've hardly been a star, we are murdering hundreds of thousands and are accused of millions of Arab deaths in the Middle East. We manufacture the arms here in the US. We tell people who their leaders can be, but the banks tell our leaders what to do. – who to kill. Its time to tell the banks... to go to hell and print our own money without their INTEREST.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
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