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. Jackson

    Lets get naked and start the REVOLUTION!!!!!

    October 4, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Brook

    Well, since no one can get a job because the "job creators" are laying people off, sending jobs out of the country, and not hiring the unemployed - well else are they going to do with all that time on their hands? House is foreclosed, can't afford health insurance, banks want to charge you for taking your money, and don't even start about the price of gas... Nothing left to do but stop traffic. WWJD? Grab a bullwhip and beat the crap outta some bankers!

    October 4, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • RepubTard

      What do you call 55,000,000 Repubtards falling into the mouth of a volcano?


      October 4, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • EatThemUpYum

      Pretty sure JD was the non-violent sort Brook. Why does whole thing feel so manufactured? This isn't Arab Spring come to America. Anyone that thinks that needs to get out of their sheltered little world and go visit some place like Syria. America has become a country of whiny little ... cats.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kikaha

      Well said!!!!!

      October 4, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      The left's tea baggers. Loving it!

      October 4, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. rick

    Please don't let it fizzle out. As Muse puts it......it's time the fat cats had a heart attack.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. EatThemUpYum

    And still nobody cares about this BS except for the people that can't find a way to fit in and make a living. Nobody owes any of us anything. Now put your big boy pants on, get a hair cut and realize your liberal arts degree was a bad idea and you will have to go work for less than what you think your contribution to society is worth.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jacob


      Although I agree with what you said for the most part I sympathize with some of these people.

      I'm sure some of them got liberal arts degrees because it was the 'easy path' to a degree; however, some of them attained liberal arts degrees because that's who they are and it's what they excel at. The way our society is setup puts those who excel at music, art, literature, etc. at a disadvantage over those who excel at math, chemistry, physics, law, medicine, etc. A lot of these people are attempting to adapt to a soceity not meant for them and are finding it hard.

      These people don't aspire to become politicians, lawmakers, scientists because it's not who they are; these protests are the only way they can express themselves (while attempting to stay as legal as possible).

      October 4, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kikaha

      Sorry it appears a lot more people care than you know as the Occupy movement is spreading accross the county. Yes the middle class has been setup by the 1% who own most of the country and its time to take what is ours back. They wrote the laws they exported the jobs they took the profits they broke the contract with American society.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cogito

      For someone who doesn't care, you sure do post an awful lot of comments there EatThemUp.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jacob


      I have a hard time agreeing/empathizing with your statement as everyone around me, for the most part, has a job or has an easy time finding one, is financially stable job, and content with their life; some of them even did it without pursuing a college degree. I'm not saying what you are saying is false; however, I don't see what there is to 'take back.'

      I had one friend who had to suck it up and live with his brother for a year while he worked 12 hours a week at a grocery store. He lived within his means, stayed hopeful, kept looking, and eventually found a job where he now works 40hrs/week @ $18/hour and is completely satisfied. Maybe most of these people need more family/friend support and motivation, maybe they are trying to live outside their means, maybe they have pride issues, maybe they need to move somewhere else... I don't know.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Brian

    "I'm glad that everyone's work let them take time off to protest capitalism."

    Maybe this is their work. Nixon's "dirty tricks" people used to hire the dirtiest hippy they could find to protest against Nixon. Nixon would then point to the dirty hippy and compare him to the "great silent majority." The French call this "agent provocateur."

    October 4, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Big George in Big D

    These bunch of idiots probably never worked a fulltime job in their life! Bunch of bums! Seems odd to me that everyone I know that wants to work IS working!

    October 4, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron.Z

      Clearly you don't know a lot of people, otherwise you wouldn't group such a large, and ever growing, portion of america into such a trite, over simplified category. Smells like a person who will be threatened by the revolution to me. GOOD!

      October 4, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robita

      You idiot Tea Bag. It's unfortunate that low brain function people like yourself survive childhood. I think your name should be "Big George is a big D bag." I would explain why you are so wrong, but people like you don't understand anything much more complicated than insults, so I'll just stick to what you know.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • truth2power

      the only idiot here is you george.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Northof39

      Listen Big George, everyone you know that is working probably got handed their jobs by their daddies. The rest of the young people can't find any kind of work. People want to work & don't like to sit around watching fat cats in Big "D" driving around in their massive SUV's while hearing about all the bank bailouts & abusive bank fees. I think you are seriously deluded at most & living in a dream world at least. Or you feel very afraid that your way of life is coming to an end because a bad economy doesn't discriminate – it affects everyone in the end.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. david guidero

    when the realestate market was booming i went to get a loan and poof i was pre aproved for 360,000 i knew i couldn't
    afford the monthly payments so I didn't get it common sense so why are we punishing every body else and not taking personal respnsibility I cant afford something i don't buy it I dont like a bank i dont do buisiness with them
    If I open my buisiness and it is successful you will protest my buisiness because im a greedy capitalist
    no I am smart and worked real hard and if im sucessful i get the reward of wealth EARNED !!!!!
    stop blaming others work hard and dream you will make it in this world

    October 4, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. GeorgeBos95

    "Occupy {fill in the location}" is hardly a movement. A smattering of people in different cities. {yawn}.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robita

      Yeah, I can tell that you are what we call a "Troll for pay". You spread lies for money. Who hired you Troll for Pay? Was it the Koch Brothers? People, we need to call out the lies that the people in power are spreading via money. Call them out! This is a movement, it's very real, and it will spread as long as we don't allow people like George to sway our opinion.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jason

    So this generation is our future eh? Yeah....we're screwed.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chinatown

      Your generation created the mess, other generations need to clean it up so SHUT THE F UP

      October 4, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ian

    There appears to be a lot of people (especially the young) who think the rich owe us something. They don't.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Richard

    Why does this have to be about left and right? It is corporate greed that has caused this economic situation that we're currently in. Surely everyone can at least agree a little bit about that. Both Republican & Democratic parties are responsible for the unfettered greed that has ruled this country for 30 years or so. I work full time at a technical job but cannot get from one paycheck to another without struggling. I don't live beyond my means. I don't have cable tv, I have a trac-phone cell phone to keep in touch with my kids. I still have an old box TV, not a flat screen. I don't want things handed to me but it would be nice if we played on a fair playing field without the corporate masters trying to suck every last cent out of the American people.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Aaron.Z

    I think they, the people, should take over the NYSE and hold them all hostage. I don't think I would be so easily have sat and watched as innocent people were being beaten by cops who are nothing more than rich people's cronies. There are way more of us than there are of them, even with the guns, we can still over run them, their defences, and take back what is ours... our country.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • truth2power

      Better yet, surround the capital building in DC and de not let anyone in until the government stops and we get reform.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. chillipepper

    70% are just like homeless,cluess,anarcrist, druggies, brotherhood solidarity same mind get together. But I think 30% actullay have a gripe that they know what they're talking about.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. cony007

    Vote OBAMA 2012!!!! Do not attack the republicans when making coments. Vote Obama 2012!!!! Attacking Republicans is a waste time. Vote OBAMA 2012!!!!

    October 4, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. guest43

    the lunatic ramblings of the anarchist, socialist, communist posters on CNN baffle me...let's say i work hard, study, commit 10 years to becoming a doctor...borrow heavily to do so...and end up making a good wage by anyone's measure...just how it is that the fruits of MY labor can be "taken back" by those of you who feels that the wages are "yours"...are you sharing my student loan debt as well? no one in this world is "owed" a six figure salary.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18