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. Shannon

    Why are these people not at work or looking for work if they dont have a job? I know, it is that they are all on umemployment or wellfare of some kind, paid for by the people they are protesting. History does repeat itself since these people have no understanding of what they can do as part of a Republic and not a democracy. If we were truly a democracy, we can just look back and see where it breaks down everytime. I understand they may not be happy, well maybe they should not have voted in the elected official that represent them or give them a call and express their desires. It is not the successful people's fault that they did not make it, and what if they do make it someday, will they be mad at themselves for working hard and building wealth, or what is called the American Dream?

    October 5, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cosmos42

      "It's called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it." – George Carlin

      October 5, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patricksday

      Maybe one day you will be in their Shoes. How many people do you think apply for One Job?? How many do you think actually get an interview. And if your over 50 you too young to bury and to old to get hired. Then after a year they throw you into another category of "losers" and thats it unless you know someone.

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

      The work they are doing now is the most important.

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

      Spoken like a true sheep.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • altalks21

      They got tired of waiting for the JOBS, JOBS, JOBS that were promised when the Republicans gave all those tax breaks to the super rich (they have 90% of the money) and corporations. The CON JOB continues, the super rich and corporations are holding on to all the money (trillions?) from all the tax breaks and have said the U.S. economy is too bad to invest in and they cannot create JOBS. If all this money was in the hands of small business and regular consumers (about 70% of the U.S. economy) retail sales would hit the ceiling! THIS WOULD GET THE U.S. ECONOMY GOING! TAX THE SUPER RICH / VOTE FOR A POLITICIAN WHO WILL PROTECT THE MIDDLE CLASS AND THE POOR.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave Goldberg

      Candidates that represent you? They don't exist because they are all bought buy corporations. I like Obama and I think he's a good guy, but he was given a huge chunk of money from Goldman Sachs for his campaign. Also since our idiot Supreme Court ruled on the People's United case, politicians now have to worry about making corporate enemies, since they can donate any amount of money to a politician's rival. That's why we all need to sign http://www.getmoneyout.com

      October 5, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave Goldberg

      Oops Citizen's United, I mean.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. CalicoBlackie

    There is a lot of misinformation being fed to us by the corporate media. For a discussion on this, see prairiefirenews com

    October 5, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Harley1

    All of you left-wing, liberals are pathetic...

    October 5, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Do explain...

      October 5, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patricksday

      As an American its our right to protest and march, if you were an American and working class you might have a clue. You dont get whats happening because you dont live in our world, the one the majority of people live in.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ann7

    WOW people not all these people are lazy. What they are is mad and frustrated. They want the 1% to trickle down some of that cash. You know like create a some more JOBS and give some b!tches a raise.

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

      No...all they want is what they had earned and just lost. Their roofs ,their jobs. .

      October 5, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kirk Saber

    Erin Burnett is and was part of the problem she is in bed with the very people we have to topple! http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4408

    October 5, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patricksday

      Your right she is one of those pretty snooty girls who doesnt live in the same world as the majority of the people who struggle every day.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. kristina

    Wow! They don't have jobs because 70% of this countries financial assets are controlled by 1% of the population. They have been applying for months/years & the 1% are only hiring Chinese sweatshop labor. When 99% of us are trying to make it on 30% of all financial assets it does not spread enough.

    October 5, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |

    It is far too convenient to point fingers at Wall St. and corporations, but in the act of blaming them, we are completing eviscerating our own power, while deliberately avoiding our responsibility for these conditions. Money is power. Wall St. has a lot of it. There strength is built on markets WE create. When we spend our money determines markets, ergo corporate strength. WE supported WalMart–even though we knew it was destroying Mom/Pop America and industry. By OUR money supporting WalMart, WalMart was able to demand lower prices from manufacturers. In order to compete for the enormous number of WalMart bargain shoppers, manufacturers outsourced US production to foreign markets where it was cheaper. Did that stop the American consumer? Of course not–we drove by our unemployed neighbors panhandling outside WalMart and said–sucks to be you. Stop blaming Wall St. They wouldn't exist if we didn't support them. This is our fault more than it is theirs and nothing and no one can change it except for US. Get active, get involved in politics and take the power back in DC. It's the only way. So take off the f'ing makeup & stop whining.

    October 5, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Loss4Words

      Well said!

      October 5, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harley1

      Good point Ballz

      October 5, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patrick A.

      Only difference is Walmart never got any MONEY from the GOVERNMENT to bail it out.
      The banks are doing just that stiffing people up while making profits on their deposits.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Patricksday

    Its beautiful to see the Power of the People standing up to defend America and its people. If you dont understand what its all about you are not struggling enough.

    October 5, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. kristina

    The same people that were cheering for the Tea Parties nutball agenda were cheering when they marched in the street, but for some reason they are insulting people for trying to take our govt back from the corporate/banking interests that have taken over our govt. Wake up! Our govt is only working for the wealthy, as soon as any politician tries to do something for the middle class they start to whine about that person being anti-biz & and accuse that politician of being a socialist. These protestors are heroes, out fighting to make our govt work for the people.

    October 5, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harley1

      You liberals are pathetic....

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

      When you can stop sticking labels on people you will be one of the People. Until then you are part of the problem, you have yours and thats all that matters, but one day you could be downsized too, you may think your corporation "cares about you" but they only care about Profit and how to get more of it at any cost.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Nice argument Harley, really showed your vast intelligence there.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. TOMMAS

    This just might be the beginning of the end of America. The first mistake is the confusion between the wealth and income. HIgh income earners are not necessarily wealthy and the changes in the tax code are making it more difficult for high income earners to become wealthy. On the other hand, the wealthy often do not have taxable income because they don't work. Their money comes from investments which are taxed at a rate much lower than income tax rates.

    More importantly, if we attack the people with the most wealth, they can simply leave America behind. The live globally and with the world getting smaller everyday and markets emerging around the world with new customers and employees willing to work harder for less, American citizenship for these people may soon become a liability. If you are paying attention, there is already a movement among the ultra-rich to give up their American citizenship. If they do that, they keep their wealth and they take their business abroad.

    October 5, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patricksday

      OMG I never thought of that! We should all back off and just let the GREED continue, and Hope the corporations dont get angry at us and send work to third world countries. SNAP out of your comfort zone, you and 1% of your kind have no clue about who is struggling and the worst is YOU DONT CARE!

      October 5, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Thoreauvian

    Just saw some protesters in downtown Seattle at the Westlake Center. Good stuff.

    October 5, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. joaquin de palanyag

    Our current system steams along like a ship with a thousand tiny rudders by its stern. Where it is headed is not exactly the ship's intended port of call. For each tiny rudder is placed there by individual or group of individuals with special interest bent on taking the ship to their own port of calls.

    Thanks to the freedom of speech, we are all guaranteed to voice out whatever we found wanting in our system. Left or Right, this exercise of freedom of speech is both healthy and necessary, more so in our current state of affairs.

    October 5, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Pat

    All class warfare is illusion.
    The romance of the rich is what colors the fantasies of the poor and gives them strength to carry on.
    Indeed, what a wretched lot the poor would truly have, if they did not have the rich to envy.

    October 5, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dondon

    There are a lot of Corporations in America that make billions of dollors in profit yet they pay no income taxes with all there tax writeoffs. All of them need to be exposed so we all know who they are. The middle class is carrying America while big business is not paying there fair share. President Obama is right when he says it's time for them to help carry the load. The GOP wants to cut into everything the middle class and the poor get while protecting there Big Business Buddies from any increase in there taxes. The Gop has no Intention of doing anything to help President Obama help the American People. As far as the GOP is concerned the American citizens have to be sacrificed in order for them to win the White House in the next election.

    October 5, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Kyne

    Next they'll tell you capitalism is doomed because you cannot have infinite growth on a finite planet with finite resources...

    October 5, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • brant3

      I'm sure they will find a way- or I should say: they will find the right politician to get er done.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • DanH

      NEWS FLASH – We HAD Capitalism. What we have NOW is NOT Capitalism. Many DON'T REALIZE THIS!

      Capitalism died a slow death over the past 25-30 years.

      Capitalism has now been REPLACED by: CRONY Capitalism, Socialism, Corporatism, FRAUD, market manipulation (by Hedge Funds & Flash Trading & Insider Trading), & deregulation, etc..

      Innocent investors and their pensions (public & private) have been LOOTED by Wall Street Thugs and Banksters. Government is CORRUPT and COMPLICIT and has also participated and benefitted from this.

      NO ONE HAS GONE TO JAIL. NO MONIES HAVE BEEN RETURNED EITHER. Lives and our economy have been DESTROYED. Families have been torn apart and opportunity has been DESTROYED – STEALING Hurts AND KILLS.

      No Justice? = NO PEACE!!

      The younger generation is SMART. They KNOW what's wrong and are tired of having their FUTURE STOLEN. Again... there will be NO PEACE until this nonsense and corruption and theft STOP!!

      Voting doesn't work any more, so this revolution will GROW and SPREAD.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
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