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. Cindy

    When the US supreme court made the ruling that there were no limits on campaign contributions it changed everything. Now the corporations and the rich are controlling the republican party and trying to take away what little benefits workers used to have protected by Unions, etc. They want to drive down wages further and make even bigger profits. They want to control our country and they are doing a pretty good job at it already. Wake up people and organize before it really is too late.

    October 5, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ann7

    How many people don't vote cause they can't see the lesser of the evils. Or is that just me.

    October 5, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alfredo Fla.

      Just you.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • God

      Yeah, fall in, turkey. Watch dancing with the stars and forget any of this ever happened.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • ann7

      : P

      October 5, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alfredo Fla.

      What's sad Ann is you think your comment is somehow cute or funny. It's actually sad.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. FNORDPOCALYPSE

    The fact that there are nothing but negative comments on here is actually uplifting. The closer you get to the truth, the more resistance you encounter. So keep it up. keep calling them lazy. Keep trying to ignore them. Keep trying to maintain the corruption. Your negativity is just inspiring more people to join.

    October 5, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • woody

      You are exactly correct. It's the same negative people dishing out the same old tired rants.

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

    In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all.

    Isaiah 11:6

    October 5, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Geronimo

    Corporate America is the enemy. They've moved operations overseas, but expect us to buy their products. They pollute our waters and land. They allow patients to die for want of surgery and medicine. They steal the bread from your children's mouths. They steal senior's savings. They cut pay for workers while taking billions from the government. They throw people out of their homes instead of offering modifications. They'll walk over your bleeding body in the street. It's time to stop buying what they sell. It's time to take back what belongs to us.

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

      Blame the man, but don't include yourselves.
      Self-victimized ignorati w/ ignored history on shelves.
      They want the power back that we happily gave away.
      Crying oppression & deception & that we've all been played.
      But those who skipped history are only bound to repeat it.
      It was while we all watched that this ill crop was seeded.
      With iPhones & iPads wearing Fitch & Abercrombie,
      It's apropos that these clueless kids are dressed like phuckin' zombies.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Loss4Words

      They are just angry that the Iphone 5 was delayed. Iphone 4 and 4s built in China and sold by corporate America. Then again mommy and daddy probably paid for it just like everything else these boomerang babies have!

      October 5, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ann7

    This is how revolutions start now for a leader.

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

      No leader is better....once there is a leader there is someone to tear down and discredit. No leader is better.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. A

    No signs of anyone caring until the protesters give a reason for people to care. Mubarak was forced out of office because protesters cared and used force to get their actions taken seriously. Same with Gaddafi. Those protestors in Libya and Egypt should be inspiration to us here in America for standing up and wanting change.

    October 5, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Gaige

    Some of us have to go work for a living, and so cannot spend our time milling about various parks around the country. Enjoy yourself while the rest of us attempt to remain productive!

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

      they're tired of corporate greed that doesnt give back. corporate greed that wont hire, wont pay but minimum tax if any.
      They feel soon we'll be a third world country because we only export war no matter how many degrees we have, because we export our work to china and india.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. woman guest

    i am startled by the level of cynicism evident in both anchors on this page. i do agree that the protest lacks concrete focus, at least to communicate with the rest of the traditional media and the audience, including myself. instead of reporting the phenomena from a neutral perspective and with genuine curiosity, these anchors are almost laughing at their interviewees, as if they are reporting some funniest home videos. how disrespectful! if you can't even report this with sincerity, i wonder what the cnn 'freedom project' is really about. do you two women also laugh at those paper airplanes? have some journalistic integrity. this is not an entertainment business.

    October 5, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ann7

    Change would be great. The problem is getting people to agree on what the changes should be.

    October 5, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bailoutsos

    Soldiers are dying overseas and they are protesting about Wall Street?

    October 5, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • truth2power

      Follow the money.

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

      Wow; are you that dense....dont you get it......

      October 5, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Steve Perry

    Cost of goods rise from domestic production -> request more wages -> lower profit margins -> less growth -> more unemployment -> more people to rally.... FAIL. Go work. Things are not free.

    October 5, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. us1776

    Next Occupy Wall Street Rally: TOMORROW Oct. 6th

    Facebook: OccupyTampa

    Location: Tampa, Florida

    "Occupy Tampa" rally is planned for Thursday, October 6th in Gaslight Park from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

    October 5, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • us1776

      Please take a personal day from work and join us in Tampa, Florida.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. clintonius

    How much of a corporate banking shill is Erin Burnett? This woman is a staunch apologist of a broken and corrupt banking sector. And now she's claiming that repayment of TARP was a great success story? Let's not forget that TARP was repaid by borrowing money from one Treasury Dept. program and giving it to another Treasury Dept. program. It's a total hoax and Burnett is running cover for it. Never mind that TARP is a minuscule fraction of the overall funds that the FED splashed out to banks all over the world. Where's all that taxpayer money Erin? She's using TARP as a straw man to set up gotcha questions. Yeah it's complicated stuff, which is why she can get away with spewing this nonsense. Burnett doesn't give the whole story because it would destroy her defense of people like her husband, a Citibank executive.....conflict of interest there sister? Wow.....CNN has low standards.

    October 5, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dave Goldberg

    The middle class was invented as a buffer between the rich and the poor. The rich don't care about the poor and as long as the middle class is happy, then the poor have no voice. But the middle class has been attacked and whittled away. The middle class has lost their jobs, their homes, had their wages slashed, asked to work harder for less, had their retirement savings lost in casino like 401ks, had their kids future robbed because education is too expensive and their are no jobs for the kids when they graduate. So that buffer is coming down and we are all realizing that the rich 1% are telling us to "Eat Cake". You know what happens next.

    October 5, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Loss4Words

      Yeah...You lazy gimmie gimmies demand a glass of milk!

      October 5, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert Robinson

      Off with their heads, right?

      October 5, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • KM

      Who invented the middle class? What an absurd conept. It wsn't "invented" by anyone. The nmiddle class is a natural outcome brought about by the development of commerce in any developing society. You make it sound as it someone intentionally created it for some particular purpose. Welcome to the wonderful world of reality. In the real world, things don't always work out the way that we wish. Life is not a fairy-tale and the end will not always be happily ever after. Who ever said that you were guaranteed happiness? No one as far as I can recall. The bottom line is, the economy is not performing well and unemployment and loss of wealth is an unfortunate aspect of it. In the final analysis, those protesting won't bring about the conclusion of this economic misfortune any faster by all of their protestations. Just remeber what you are suggesting might happen, the advent of socialism. We all know how much better of a track record socialism has than capitalism. Personally, I'll take my chances with the future of capitalism.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • altalks21

      To Loss4Words, here are sum new demands, from the polls (and still increasing), it looks like the Republicans & Democrats (middle class that is) are finally agreeing on something, TAXING THE SUPER RICH. The middle class from both parties have been paying for the tax breaks of the super rich (even though the super rich have 90% of the money) and the middle class is slowly heading to the poorhouse because of this. There is power in numbers, if the poor are about 15% and the super rich about 15% that leaves about 70% for the middle class, as the largest class and they can help direct the economy in the right direction. TAX THE SUPER RICH / MORE LIVING WAGE LAWS.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • revolutionx

      if anyone could go to this–do it. In an economy that is bad and 6 figure bonuses still happen at the end of the year for these greedy people. Let's face it -if 2012 doesn't kill us -these people will and are -slowly but surely. Down with the two party system. Let's body surf all the politicians out of office!!!!

      October 5, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patricksday

      Its funny that the 1% think the protestors are "Lazy" ,it takes energy and FIRE to protest and march, not couch potatoes.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
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