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. Barry G.

    It's about time that the people spoke out about greed and corruption.

    Way to go!

    Power to the people!

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

      and the killing, don't leave out the killing just because it is Arabs and Blacks that are being killed.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. it's probly nothing anyway

    The avg. investor will still lose money on the street. Be that 'Wall' or otherwise. Like "oh no! they're protesting us robbing them blind. we'll stop right away". But we can all pretend it's above board. What good will it do? What good has wall Street done lately more like.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. morethanbikinis

    I would take them more seriously sans the zombie costumes.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ct

    Micheal Jackson already did it. Go home

    October 4, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Barry G.

    It's a shame John Lennon isn't still here.

    I imagine that he would have been at the heart of this protest, if he were still living.

    Power to the people!

    October 4, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • woodstocker

      you know CIA killed him

      October 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. tokyo joe

    This the rise of the A-AC'S predicted 18years ago...A movement that will continue to the end...

    October 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Like fat people protesting food

    I lost my ass on wallstreet and my wife gained her ass on easystreet. Just cut-out the middleman and shovel food yourself. Invest directly in bigger bowls and ice cream scoops. Maybe even 44 oz. mugs. Huh? You already got 'em bigger than that? Case closed.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. CTYank

    Interestingly different from the astro-turf "movement" of Koch Bros/Dick Armey. No bus-ins with grossly inflated numbers of anything. And no Palin trying to latch on to generate heat & noise. You're on camera, NYPD.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Noonie

    Nothing to protest today? Let's head to Wall Street and protest capitalism. Wonder how they would like to be living under socialism where they would not be allowed to protest anything. Seems to me what they are asking for is a socialist government. Not saying things are perfect but hey it's better here than there, ask anyone who has lived outside the USA.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. daveinla

    If these people would not act so silly then people might pay attention to them.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anonymous

      You're not paying attention. You just posted here on accident because you're high, right?

      October 4, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Like fat people protesting food

    "Dey terk are jarbs."

    October 4, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Simon W

    The one thing that makes me laugh about this country is how scared it is of socialism and anything that has the word social in it. These people are protesting for a better future because at the moment all they can see is $8 an hour jobs for the rest of their lives. There not lazy and for the most part they're not communist either. What they are is a bunch of students with huge debts and minimum wage workers, people with no health insurance. They call themselves the 99% because they are not the 1% who own all the money. They feel let down by capitalism and the policies that this country has produced over the last 30 years. Taught from birth that if you work hard enough you can make it here, the American dream. A lot of them have worked hard, studied hard and even employed people in their own businesses just to watch them all go bankrupt whilst the people in the top 1% make more money from this time of recession, people getting bailed out for doing their job badly. I can see why people are unhappy, why they are no protesting, and telling the world we've had enough of this. I have interests in this country as well as in the United Kingdom where I was born. And I will tell you nowhere is having a good time of it at the moment, But its worse here than it is in the UK. I think some people need to look at what is important here. The American people or the fast shifting work overseas American corporations. These people want a future its just that simple.

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

      Well said, Simon – completely agree with you. About the labelling with "socialists" and "communists" – Oh, ignorance is bliss, what can you say....

      October 4, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mike in Tennessee

    Although I agree with many of the issues being voiced by the protesters, their utter lack of a solution critically undermines the entire protest. It's easy to say "The system stinks!" but what, precisely, is the alternative being offered to the status quo? There isn't one. And without any leadership, there won't be one. So.... basically it's all completely pointless.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. REG in AZ

    Whether considering "Wall Street", the financial industry, banks, savings and loans or the mortgage industry, real change / reform is desperately needed to end the repeated cycles of abuse, facilitated by government's lax policy that allows and even encourages the few to take advantage while costing the majority greatly.  We have seen it over and over again always with it being sold by “puppet” politicians as stimulating the economy with lax oversight, "deregulation" and "open markets" allowing for the greed, dishonesty and self-indulgence of the few to exploit the opportunities and to walk away with obnoxious gains while the majority suffers the losses.  Those politicians who receive the substantial support from "big money" continually try to rationalize the slanted policies as good for the economy but they always favor just the few and it represents irresponsibility by government in allowing an "un-level playing field" to benefit only those few.  Government needs to fairly represent the majority and to stimulate the economy while responsibly "not giving the store away" to the very few, being their strong supporters who “pull their strings”.  Yes, the people have just cause and good reason to protest!

    Obama has failed to make significant progress in resolving these and other problems (education immigration and so on), not because of any lack of effort but rather due to always attempting to negotiate and seeking to compromise, which has proven not to be strong enough to counter the Republican / Tea Party totally stubborn and belligerent complete focus on their political ambitions while they just fault and block everything. Obama likely also made a real error in first spending maximum effort and his political capital on Health Care reform; not that it isn’t really needed but rather because the opposition then became totally focused on faulting and fighting it (without ever seriously or responsibly addressing the problem) and effectively brought all efforts on all issues to a standstill (again, without concern for other than their own and their strong supporters interests). Bush-Cheney proved beyond any doubt that the “trickle down” theory is a complete fraud that only makes the wealthy wealthier while soliciting political support, and the Republican Party / Tea Party have totally and obnoxiously continually demonstrated that they are owned and controlled by Special Interests and the influential, powerful and extremely wealthy few ... always giving the majority, including the total middle class who loose the most, nothing but apathy, the costs and an abundance of subterfuge to con, rationalize and manipulate.

    Obama must become stronger and be encouraged to aggressively address the problems, with or without bipartisan cooperation, but the people, the voters must clearly see that to not reelect him would just be being conned into returning to “more of the same”, Bush-Cheney style (with that being another catastrophe). It has been said that the Republican Party is actually incapable of honestly and responsibly governing because they are literally “puppets” for the few (“big money”) who “pull their strings” and with that mentality and loyalty, it is just impossible for them to ever really consider the interests of the people. Their stubborn self-focused actions and their always depending on their powerful and influential supporters to overtly and covertly con and manipulate the public seems to totally substantiate that, and all of it has literally emboldened them with past successes. To ever have the Grand Ole Party back, being once again sincerely concerned for the people, then what they have become has to be firmly rejected (recognizing and rejecting the power of the money behind them that lacks any concern for other than “more money” for themselves) ... otherwise the people are just “pawns” in the selfish game of deception.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tim

    I bet most of these 'protesters' are out of work actors, trust-fund babies or paid, rent-a-mob troublemakers that show up at all of these events.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • guest43

      Voices Behind the Protest:

      "the whole world is watching!....Hey ...can someone hand me my iPhone...I need to send a tweet"

      "no justice..no peace!!....hey...did i show you guys my new iPad...dude...it rocks..."

      "Death to the banks!!!...hey dude....i need some dinero...let hit the ATM"

      "death the capitalist millionaires!!!"....hey!...is that Susan Sarandon!...i adore her films...wait...there's Michael Moore!"

      October 4, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
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