Wall Street protesters coalesce; movement spreads nationwide
The Occupy Wall Street protests have been spreading in Los Angeles, California and across the country.
October 5th, 2011
12:00 PM ET

Wall Street protesters coalesce; movement spreads nationwide

The few hundred people camped out at Zuccotti Park in New York’s Financial District in an entrenched protest loosely focused on corporate greed and big business’s involvement in government will see their numbers bolstered by thousands this afternoon.

A half-dozen labor unions, including the local Transport Workers Union are joining Occupy Wall Street for a march through Lower Manhattan today. The demonstrators plan to leave their encampment and join the union members at Foley Square about a mile north of their location. Then, together, they’ll march back down to Zuccotti Park.

Listen to the full CNN Radio report here:

As the number of protesters grows the movement shows no signs of letting up. It has spread to several other cities across the country. An Occupy Philadelphia protest began this week.

Time.com: How Occupy Wall Street echoes the 'Indignados' of Spain

The movement is leaderless and lacking an organizational structure. But that doesn’t mean it’s disorganized.

“We didn’t set up a clear set of goals to begin with because we felt we were trying to bring people together and start a conversation, and from that conversation … the goals and demands will become clear,” said Lorenzo Cerna, one of the volunteers working in Occupy Wall Street’s ad hoc media center.

Open Story: Are you there? | Photos

The process for facilitating the conversation revolves around what the demonstrators call a General Assembly. It meets daily, sometimes twice a day, and anyone can stand up and voice an opinion. Those listening nearby then repeat what the speaker said, amplifying it so that everyone else can hear the message.

They’re trying to create a consensus around a clear objective through a group process.

“It takes some time. So we have to be patient,” Cerna said. “A lot of people want a specific thing to be said. But I think that specific thing will eventually be said.” As he looked at the diverse group of people around him he said, “This movement is very much about bringing people together and for getting people to start talking to each other and start working together.” In that regard, he believes Occupy Wall Street has been successful.

Opinion: Just a phase? You don't get it

While they figure out what their goals are, they’ve organized different volunteer groups tasked with keeping the park clean, distributing food donated by people sympathetic to their cause, and dealing with medical and legal issues.

They even have their own internal security force, although, they didn’t want to be called security. They settled on the term "De-escalation." They call out people violating the group rules of no drugs and alcohol and respecting each other’s property.

Who are the voices behind the protests, movement to #OccupyWallStreet?

While the people who make up Occupy Wall Street figure out how they want to focus their message, no one can say how long it will take and where this is all heading. As more people join the protest they get to have their opinions heard, too, drawing out the process.

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soundoff (946 Responses)
  1. chris

    The Tea-Partiers accuse everyone of hating capitalism while waiting for the government to take care of them. But the "government" is irrelevant. Wall Street billionaires OWN the government, whether it is Republicans or Democrats. They essentially bribe politicians to figure out ways to extract more wealth out of working Americans and redistribute it upward so they can buy bigger yahts. The reason the top 25% pay 90% of the tax revenue is that the bottom 75% don't have any money left TO tax.

    October 5, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Yuveth

    Seriously? The coverage really irritates me. I can see that the news reporters don't take the protest seriously and that is sad. Is it funny that so many Americans are out of work .. that so many are homeless and so many that are in poverty? That is something to make light of ? Is it funny to you that some people get angry for bailing out the banks. Is it funny to you that the corporate world has more say in what happens within Government that any other official any citizens.

    Afgh. war – 513 billion in funding for 2011 – 8 billion.. a month.
    Iraq- 3 trillion

    And.. what about Bank of America? Seriously..........

    Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac....

    ohh and want to talk corruption? Go to http://www.. buisnessinsider .. they have talk about corruption that even I didn't realize .. incredible how corp find new and inventive ways of being dishonest.

    ohh and lets not forget about indefinite detention.. torture and all of those nice little things.. we can talk about homelessness.. the uninsured, poverty and joblessness. OR.. we can talk about all the big fat bonuses these humanitarian rejects always seem to acquire..

    Oh god and please.. don't forget about Black Water... this is kinda a short and sweet list but.. things really begin to pile up after awhile.. and like a cup.. I runeth over. as does every-ones.

    And one more thing.. you keep saying this protest is leaderless.... Consider each and every American Citizen who participates a corporation who deserves your respect. You say these bailouts made american taxpayers 10billion huh.. prove it .. not just on paper.. where is that 10billion dollars.. and I swear if you find bits and pieces of it scattered in department heads pockets.... they better run and hide.

    I mean .. where is it ? Who has it .. what did they do with it ? And .. did anyone remember receiving any type of refund for this ?

    October 5, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. xhk

    um, just a quick question, were there people arrested for this protest march?
    per Chinese news, 700 were.
    if so i want to know why?!

    October 5, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dean


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

      They shut down the Brooklyn Bridge. Apparently being angry at corporate leaders, politicians, and financiers means that you pizz off average New Yorkers.

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

    Lemme make sure I understand. You are protesting nationally against Wall Street but you don't really know what they are doing to cause you to protest in the first place. For me the kook factor is climbing. At least the Tea Party had an idea what they were saying even though they had no solutions. Here's my protest against everything 🙁 That's a big frown to you post Internet people.

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

      That is a sadly surprised face not a frown

      October 5, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joe M.

    What a bunch of losers.

    October 5, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dylan

      First they ignore us, then they laugh at us, then they fight us and then we win.

      Gandhi and the 99%

      October 5, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mark

    This movement has the potential to reach into the millions, especially with all the unemployed. This should be called the American Peoples Wallstreet Woodstock Movement. Hopefully, it will survive through the winter.

    October 5, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |

      Yeah–this thing's doomed just by weather alone, unless the capitol is moved to Miami. It leads me to have serious doubts about the cognitive abilities of the organizers–who sets up a long-term protest at the end of warm weather? If this had kicked off on April 15th, for instance, it would have the time to foment and grow–and no one would have to fear frostbite or death. This things got until Halloween at most before these kids go back to their parents' basement.

      October 5, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. usamare

    Anyone who really looks beneath the surface will find serious problems with almost everything in the US. Our biggest problem is that no one has been trying to solve the big problems for decades. Things like jobs and healthcare would be fairly simple to straighten out, but there's too much money trying to keep things as they are.

    October 5, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. something different

    Seriously? Burnett must not get the point of the movement. Even if it is true that the taxpayers profited from the bailout, it is the fact that the big banks were allowed the opportunity to be bailed out. Students and homeowners are not given the chance. Shouldn't the people have more leniency than corporations that have lawyers, and people that are paid to make sure bad decisions are kept to a minimum. They are monitored by the FDIC, shouldn't someone have realized something was amiss?
    I wouldn't blame one student or one homeowner for a bad decision, life is full of them, and with only one pair of eyes it is easy to oversee a problem. I do however, blame the banks for their mistakes.

    October 5, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. fraubeeck

    This needs to move to DC, particularly near the congressional office buildings. These crowds need to shut down the House of Reps since they aren't doing anything anyway. Their 89% disapproval rating is a testament to the true grass roots movement taking place in this country and it isn't the tea baggers.

    October 5, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. glenn robert

    Yes "occupy wall street " is disorganised but they are thinking. The Tea Party is disorganised but they do not think! When your only mantra is "no new taxes" you don't have much to offer!

    October 5, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Name*Jay

    Liberals looking for another hand out they dont want to work hard for anything they think everything should be given to them have there rich liberal friends in hollywood take care of them

    October 5, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. sanjay01

    Anyone on this post who is against these protests, is a Corporate Capitalist stooge, busy licking the private parts of the American CEOs.

    October 5, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Loss4Words

      I support the American Free Enterprise System, which has always had the unique ability to weed out individuals who can't compete in the marketplace. Disgruntled losers have been cast aside for generations and yours will be no different, in fact it may well prove that the Ipod Generation is incapable of offering anything of value to the economy, and in record numbers. DON'T HATE THE PLAYERS, HATE THE GAME!

      October 5, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |


    October 5, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |

      Jesus, changed to mix caps, all that frackin' shoutin' is giving my eyes a headache. Don't drink and blog.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. DFergATL

    Why do I have the feeling that if this does get to become a movement the Government will step in, declare it illegal due to "National Security Concerns."

    October 5, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |

      It wouldn't take the Feds-just the local fuzz concerned with public safety.

      October 5, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Rob C.

    Big whoop- just another bunch of hypocritical crackpots. Go get a job and try to earn some money. Quit whining about all the money Wall Street has brought to the US...think of where you would be if Wall Street was in Spain instead....we would not live nearly as well as we do in the US (and certainly not that way in NY!).

    October 5, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patricksday

      How many people do you think apply for one Job??? And if your 50+ your job options pretty much disappear unless you know someone who get help get you in. Then there are the corporate tests online that you must take that weeds out more people from the interview process. Lazy people dont protest, fed up, hungry and unemployed people do, while CEO Bloated Salaries and bonsus continue, when will they tighten their belt and start hiring people after 10 years of tax breaks???

      October 5, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • retrostar1000

      wow you are wayyy off base on that one. You are especially wrong about the so-called benefits we enjoy by the mere existence of corporations. Name one real benefit I receive by Wall Street.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • 4realz?

      There are exchanges all over the world. The one is in Spain is called the Bolsa de Madrid. I did not know that until I googled it. Before you post something super dumb attacking other people for doing something they think will benefit their fellow Americans, check yourself – fool.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boib Brush

      Clearly you don't live in New York City on a working person's salary, and clearly you have learned both your politics and sentence construction from Archie Bunker. How much is Fox paying you to leave comments like this?

      October 5, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      Get a JOB? Get what job? That's right, just sit on your big can and complain about people who are actually trying to make things better for their children... and yours.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • phil

      You are so right Rob. And for the guy that said what has wall street given you. Maybe the cloths on your back, the food you eat, your parent's money and the leisure time to protest.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boib Brush

      Phil – oh phil – you think Wall Street does all that? Not everyone who doesn't shoot things for fun and hate all who aren't straight and white is a rich kid. Get a clue – you'll be next out of house and job. See how tough you are then. Idiot.

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

      What are you talking about? What a bitter bitter person. You do know people invest in companies and supply cash to create goods and services?

      October 5, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boib Brush

      Bitter? Pot? kettle? I sugest you watch Matewan – a great example of your philosophy in action. You're no patriot, you are a supporter of those who keep the working people down.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
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