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.

You can also listen to the CNN Radio Reports podcast on itunes or subscribe to the podcast here.

soundoff (946 Responses)
  1. Terry Brookman

    To Anonymous: Why do you protest the middlemen? The real culprits are the ones who deregulated the market, this is the only bipartisan movement that is shared. They protect each other and their off shore accounts. You want to hack something why go after the small fry, go after the Fed, Obama and all those underneath them. Our bought and paid for Congress and Senate are the guys that get a free walk while thirteen trillion is borrowed in the name of We The People while most of the money went to prop up the Euro.

    October 5, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • tbrnotb

      Yeah Terry....these are just middlemen? They OWN our government. Stop being so naive and think about what you are saying. Sheesh.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lancelot Link

    These nitwits should be camping out on the front lawn of the White House !

    October 5, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • SixString7

      That would be REALLY useless because the banks use the government as a shield.They would love for these people to march on the White house because they know it would accomplish nothing. You must go straight to the source of evil the banks and get in their face.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |

      @Sixstring7: No offense, dude, but a brain is like fine wine–it requires oxygen. Pull your head out of your azz. What is a CEO or Wall St. exec going to do? Change Federal Law? Hmmm...no that's something done in DC. Maybe they'll re-instate fiduciary oversight? Hmmmm...no that's something by the SEC/DC. Maybe they can rescind Gramm-Leach–Bliley? Nope....that's in DC, too. So what is protest accomplishing? Jack Shi't–and Jack left town & shi't never showed up.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reggie

      Straight to the source of Evil..banks are not the MAIN sources of Evil...take higher. You're wrong if you think by not changing the way the laws are written by Congress, and backdoor politics enforced by WH won't have effect...Over-regulation means one thing: More Loopholes for the richest...while the middle class will suffer..

      October 5, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      Go to the White House? Maybe a brain is like a fine wine and needs oxygen, but it sounds like your brain has been pickled in wine. It's the billionaires who control all politicians. So, let's go to the source and if they don't cooperate, we make an example of a couple of them. It's amazing how some really stubborn people see the light when it's their azz on the line.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • phil

      morons, your bus is leaving.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boib Brush

      Phil – oh Phil – are you paid by the word? You should pad things out a bit more and your masters will reward you. Lapdog...

      October 5, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Deniz Oliver

    The news reporters on CNN really need to have a reality check... if the Revolts in the Arab World were coined by CNN as the "Arab Spring" here is a cute term you may want to consider for the American Revolt taking place now across the United States of America... The American Fall... it is Autumn you know 🙂

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

      Fall in America for the Fall of America...

      October 5, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. SixString7

    Why am I still not seeing this all over the news? They could at least do a full piece on it instead of Amanda Knox,Micheal Jackson and the friggin stupid I phone whatever which they have spammed constantly.My biggest fear is when they do cover it they will already have their hands on it and be controlling it from the inside the same as the teabaggers.

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

      CNN is also a corporation and they dont want to show the POWER OF THE PEOPLE too much, it would energize more to get out and be public witness to this movement, like a Tsunami sweeping across America. 11-11-11 is said to be a powerful day for energy hitting the planet, that will also help this movement.

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

      You are not seeing it all over the news because it is a grabastic clusterphuck right now. There is no common face, no common voice, no leadership. A leader needs to emerge and point this energy towards DC before the weather shifts, or this effort with evaporate like a fart in a hurricane over winter. I am dubious about this movement because no one (celebrity, talking head, common person) has taken the opportunity to coalesce the media & move the protests to the National Mall. Anyone who knows anything about the power structure in this country knows that the means for change are in DC. If DC wasn't the seat of power, corporations, banks, etc., wouldn't spend money lobbying members of Congress or undermining government agencies with oversight. When this move's to DC, I'll be there.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      Ballzdeep: They don't need a talking head, figure head or a celebrity. The faceless masses are enough. Don't believe me, ask Marie Antoinette. A figurehead would make it much too civil. Just wait and see what happens. Just wait and see. It isn't going to stay peaceful for long.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave Goldberg

      I think they are still in wait and see mode. Will it fizzle out? Who will become the face of the movement? Having Michael Moore down there helped a bit, but we need more of that. Right wing radio is reporting "fake" list of demands and mocking them. They are fake in that they are just one person's opinion. We aren't ecconomists who know how to fix the problems, but we know what the problems are. The number 1 problem is corporate greed. Corporate greed has taken our jobs away to other countries. Corporate greed takes away pensions and turns it into gambling 401ks, Corporate greed takes away affordable education and replaces it with huge student loans that kids won't pay off until they are 40. Corporate greed offers bad home mortgages to people that can't afford it, advising them that they can afford it. Corporate greed hides these bad home loans with the good home loans and sells them to other corporations knowing that it will implode. Corporate greed doesn't let home owners refinance and then forcloses on their homes, which brings down the home value of everyone. Corporate greed doesn't care about global warming. Corporate greed doesn't care about health care......I could go on forever and that's why the list of demands are vast. But one thing is clear, corporate greed is to blame for all of this.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mary

    what a bunch of FREAKS. booohooooo, pooooor me. get a life

    October 5, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • truth2power

      People like you said the same thing in the 60's about the civil rights marcghers and the people who protested the war in Vietnam.
      And we all know what side of history THEY now reside on!

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

      What an intelligent addition. All that tea partying must have gone to your head.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • tbrnotb

      Yeah Mary...we're sorry we're all not perfect like YOU!

      October 5, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      Mary, just go away. Your premenstrual tension is getting on my nerves.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • bard

      now we know why you are still single Mary...

      October 5, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jane Doe

    I think these protests are great. Out of innocense or for numerous other reasons Americans may not know why they are suffering in this great economic crisis. But, they know that it is directly related to corporate greed, ... an illegal war in Iraq declared to enrich corporations like Halliburton and British Petroleum, bad corporate investments abroad that result in higher banking fees passed on to Americans, ... .

    October 5, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      RIght Jane. Now they just need to get out the tar and feathers and start doing to the billionaires what they've done to us. Let's start with BP who polluted our gulf and work our way down.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • bard

      And this is getting onto a larger stage for public perception in spite of the paid Tea Party Trolls lurking in the shadows...

      October 5, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. rick montana

    the bank bailout was 700 BILLION – and taxpayers made back 10 or 20 BILLION – ? And it was their own money to begin with? Erin Burnett thinks that this makes everything even and wonderful? I think she needs to read more about what she trying to report on.

    October 5, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Um Yeah

      I am all for the protest but do not let the numbers be misinterpreted otherwise we become the tea party. The 10 billion is on top of the money they borrowed so it is the 700 + more with the lone exception being GM.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Haha

    I thought this would have happened years ago, but better late than never 😉

    October 5, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Monsieur Grumpe

    These people are true modern day patriots. They are mad because the wall Street elitist ran the country into the ground while getting bailed out on the backs of the middle class. Is this class warfare? I hope so.

    October 5, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Twilighttrail

    Others may have mentioned this already, but let's not forget that JP Morgan Chase donated 4.6 million dollars to the NYPD. They are attempting to buy the police department, and if the police are turning violent, it's probably working.

    October 5, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mark in houston, tx

    tea party - stop government over taxation and over spending.

    occupy wall street - stop corporate over charging and over rewarding.

    put the two grass roots orgs together and maybe you can stomp the incestuous corporate and government theft fest.

    October 5, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Kato

    You are the most stupid anchor that I have ever seen. How did you get this the job Erin Burnett? How did your sleep go with the CNN executives.

    October 5, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. James Crosby

    I like these neanderthal types that can only say "Get a job." This shows how out of touch they are with whats going on, and have no right to comment on any current topic. Guess what Bozo–there are no jobs–thats why young people are out in the streets. This entire social contract has been smashed to pieces. Do you have a job? I doubt it. I knid of think your hanging out in your parents basment on one of the familys computers. Try to get a clue before you show your ignorance to the world.

    October 5, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. truth2power

    As the Occupy movement grows I have noticed that, across the internet, the vast majority of negative comments are becoming more and more childish, name calling and distortion of facts.
    That means that those who are posting this junk are either paid trolls or, far more likely, people who are seeing this beginning of a REAL grass roots, people first revolution (as opposed to the bogus Tea Party) and that has them frightened out of their wits!

    October 5, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |

      Nope. Neither. Actually, closer to Libertarian. I find this whole thing hysterical because it doesn't seem to be grass roots, it seems to be a deliberate dispersing of public dissent in cities outside of Washington DC. Having this launch in the Fall also has the added benefit of weather shutting down outdoor protests anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon for at least 5 months, during which time, people will forget about this. If anything, I am more concerned with the lack of focus on DC and the repeated comments that we need to protest Wall St. which can do nothing. The path to power in this country is through the political system. There will always be corruption and those who take advantage of the system–which is why the common American needs to be ever-vigilant over their political leaders, self-educated, and engaged. We are better able now, then at other times in history (Peace Protest, Civil Rights, Workers' Rights) to coordinate and influence change. Not focusing on Washington, DC, not having leadership, is not an accident. It's a diversion.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Harley1

    Since you bums have “not figured out what your goals are yet,” why don’t you take your ridiculous little protest to the white house lawn and protest your left-wing, socialist president? He’s the one that got us into this mess with his failed stimulus (now he wants us to pay for another one), excessive regulations, and union bailouts. Or go to the NLRB and protest them from stopping over 1,000 jobs from being created in South Carolina by Boeing. Of course, you’re probably not aware of that news since CNN won’t report anything negative about the crooked and corrupt unions.

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

      Go work 16 hour days 7 days a week in a factory until you die young, if you hate unions so much. Because that's what they saved you from.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • frank

      The "mess" began when most manufacturing jobs went overseas where the labor is cheap, and corporate profit/revenue goals could be met. It's sad that unions are blamed for this mess, when corporate greed and the need to pay stockholder dividends equally guilty. The bottom line is, we're all stupid.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • crazytrain

      If you are not among the richest 1% then you're a complete and utter moron

      October 5, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Georgia Hull

      I agree go to the White House. These people are not Obama supporters they are real Americans using their right to protest I support them.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harley1

      To Wai: Unions were needed many years ago. Now they're all crooked and corrupt. Look at Jimmy Hoffa and Richard Trumka and tell me they're not crooked bums. If it's made in china, thank a union! By the way, I speak from experience as I worked for General Motors for several years. Have you worked for a union?????

      October 5, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
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