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. Andrew

    Tea Party protests government giving bailouts = bad
    Occupy Wall Street protests banks taking bailout = good
    Middle Class (libertarian) Me = confused (I was opposed to bailouts, especially to big business)

    Were you OWSt people and supporters in support of the Bush and Obama bailouts? If so, why and what did you think the outcome was going to be? If no, then why protest now instead of protesting with the Tea Party back when the bailouts were being passed by congress?

    October 5, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gbird

      I don't know how things played out were you are; but I was protesting with the Tea Party in the last term of the Bush admin. when they proposed TARP. But then Obama got elected... and the Tea Party got over run with violent racist idiots. That's why I stopped protesting with them. I dunno about anyone else's reasons.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • conoclast

      If you recall, the bailouts were to prevent a total financial collapse that seemed only hours away; NOBODY had the luxury of 20/20 hindsight!

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

      Better late than never. The younger generation is rightfully protesting against Wall Street FRAUD and a corrupt and complicit government. They will NOT allow their future to be stolen by the financial elite and politically connected that heve decided that it is okay to rob people. There will be no peace until the system is cleaned up.

      These protests will grow and spread further. No one will be able to stop this. The TRUTH will prevail.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Betty Anne

      We protested – we were just drowned out by the crazy being spewed by the Tea Party. Racist slurs, conspiracy theories, and screaming gray hairs with limited spelling skills are WAY more interesting to the media than rational, well-explained, reasonable posts and statements by the educated poor.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stevan

      People like Betty let this stuff happen. First there is no such thing as a "Tea Party" its just an ideal – There is no Tea Party headquarters or politican that represents them. I have been too over a dozen Tea Party rallies and have seen every color under the sun and have never once heared any racial slurs....try actully going to one and not learn everything from CNN which of course is run by what?? oh ya BIG CORPORATIONS who sleep with DEMOCRATS aka Politicians. Keep drinking that coolaid and not thinking for yourself Betty.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rtkindetroit

    Loss4words and Shannon = Mommie and daddy paid for college , never had to fend for themselves and now feel the need to spew family values. American dream in 2011 is just that- a dream ,unless you have money to begin with. Right wing liberals always bring up capitalism and success and failures.
    If the US economy was truly a capitalistic society,1- the government would have let the banks and car companies fail. 2- The banks would have gotten smaller and manageable.3-Somebody would have bought the car companies ( we gave one to the Itailians anyway) the economy would have been screwed up for a while ( it is ANYWAY) and we would not be in as much debt as we are now with know end in sight. I hope you two never have to live a life like many of the unfortunate do in this country.

    October 5, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • DanH

      Capitalism IS the answer.

      Unfortunately, what we have today is NOT Capitalism.

      Instead, Capitalism has been REPLACED BY: FRAUD, CRONY Capitalism, Corporatism, manipulation, deregulation, flash trading, etc.

      Meanwhile, Government LQQKS the other way as Wall Street Thugs commit massive FRAUD via their derivatives contracts and steal TRILLIONS from innocent, hard-working people. No one is going to jail. Monies are NOT being returned.

      This criminal activity has ruined our country and is also destroying the FUTURE for EVERYONE. Steling Hurts and Kills people. That is fact and there will be NO PEACE until this crap ends and corrupt government is eradicated.

      The younger generations are SMART and refuse to tolerate this crap. Good for them and more power to them!

      October 5, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. brant3

    American peon citizens also don't want to buy products that may have been made with Asian slave labor. Corporations sure won't admit it if they are. What a world--out of work Americans, U'S. companies make mega profits from using underpaid labor.

    October 5, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. marty

    the teaparty are mostly wealthy individuals who are inot opposed to wealth disparity. They want to protect the eleite. They are amonghte elite.

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

      As much as I hate what the tea party stands for you're flat wrong about their being rich elitists. They're ignorant and being played for suckers but otherwise they're just like you and me.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • hardroad

      What a bunch of uninformed BS. You sound like a parrot...squawk, squawk.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • DanH

      Marty – You are 100% DEAD WRONG about the Tea Party.

      The Tea Party WANTS minimal government, they want to end government waste and fraud and demand accountability. What the hell's wrong with that??!

      Please EDUCATE yourself.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • hardroad

      DanH – forget it. Once folks like that sip the koolaide, there's no going back to sanity.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. bill

    i am a bit confused about this movement because i am not shure that moast of the people protesting have actualy been in the crosshairs of the problem they say is the main consern (corporate business ) i am 35 and been self employed and have been trying to enter the world of business with several products only to be told "ya you have to speak with corporate about that " or well thats really something that is handeld in california at the main office (i live in florida ) i keep telling myself i will score big one day and i havent given up i continue to market my self hopefully some day i will

    October 5, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • DanH

      Come on Bill! WAKE UP

      This protest is about ending Wall Street FRAUD that has ruined our economy and adversely affected your business! It is also about ending our corrupt and complicit government that over taxes us, over regulates us (except for Wall Street) and allows this massive theft to occur with impunity. Trillions have been stolen. Stealing Hurts and Kills innocent people. Pension funds were also LOOTED by Wall Street and no one went to jail and no monies were returned.

      This chaos destroys the economy and also ruins the future for everyone. Meanwhile, our corrupt government doesn't do anything to stop this because our politicians are personally benefitting from this crap. Hey, did you also notice that we are ALWAYS at war?? WHY?!!

      The younger generation is SMART. The refuse to tolerate any more of this crap and want it to end.

      They won't tolerate these criminals ruining their future. Ther will be NO PEACE until this criminal activity STOPS!

      Voting no longer works and that's why these protests are indeed necessary. It's time to WAKE UP!!!

      October 5, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      @Bill I met a man who is a self made man like yourself, he would get gadgets and food and all kinds of new ideas and makes money on them, several times. If you go to locally owned places and put your product there it will go off their shelves. I do not know your product but locally owned and operated usually works. Good luck.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jeff

    hey we the people

    our congress sucks they dont help anybody, we bail out all those big companies with our money and they screw everyone time and time again, these CEO's keep paying themselves 50 million a year and do nothing, pay your employees they would have not gotten anywhere with out them.... everyone punch a CEO in the face they will stop...where is one of our generals when the people need them, walk in with the troops and fire them the people will be with you

    October 5, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • DanH

      Amen !! This corruption and criminal activity must STOP!

      The time to end this is NOW.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stevan

      You proved how little you know. CEOs do NOT pay themselves 50 million a year. Warren Buffet as an example gets paied 100k a year. How they DO get paid is stock options and dividens. This is how peoplelike Warren Buffet pay so few taxes. Steve Jobs? Paid a lot? Ya $1 a month. So when you retards say tax the rich..all you are doing is taxing professionsals who actually EARN it and the big CEOs laugh at your stupidity. How can you change something you know nothing about????

      October 5, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      @Stevan- How much do they pay on dividends and capital gains?

      October 5, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. hardroad

    What a bunch of dumbazzes. They are condemning money makers and want "people before profits" and they want jobs, blah, blah, blah. Here's a news flash: no profits then no hiring. Someone is always going to make more money than someone else. No poor person or broke company has ever hired anyone. Even if the brainless protesters achieve their communistic or socialistic dreams, there will be the wealthy at the top then too enjoying all the things you still won't have. Except you won't have your freedom of speech anymore.

    October 5, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • rtkindetroit

      hardroad-according to Bernanke corporations have 3 trillion dollars on their balance sheets as of yesterday. They are not spending due to the uncertainty of the economy. These same people are telling americans -"Spend your money, grow the economy.
      US banks are being paid interest on all reserves above required assests. Why take a chance and lend it out when you can get it free from the fed and then get interest to hold on to it.
      Love my country , hate my government.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • DanH

      Hardroad – You really need to WAKE UP!!!

      YOU are in a FOG dude...

      This about fighting Wall Street fraud that has stolen trillions and ruined our economy (doh). It is also about eradicating corrupt and complicit government that enabled and support this crap.


      The younger generation si SMART and knows that with this criminal activity going on, there will be no future.

      No Future = NO PEACE Yes, it is that simple. Come on... WAKE UP

      October 5, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mike

    This is just the start of bigger things to come! The demonstrations during the 60's started small and grew and grew until people started listening and ending the Vietnam war. The same is happening now and the movement will not end until the GREED is ended!

    October 5, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • DanH

      It isn't just about "Greed"...

      It is about ENDING the Wall Street FRAUD and massive theft that is still ongoing by these damned sociopaths. It is also about eradicating our corrupt government that has enabled and supported this criminal activity. Wall Street has hijacked the US Government. Stealing Hurts and Kills innocent people. It also destroys the future for everyone. No one went to jail and no monmies were returned. Pension funds (private and public) and people's 401k's were also looted as well by Wall Street fraud. This is WRONG.

      The younger generation is SMART and knows this and refuses to put up with any more of this crap. Good for them and more power to them! Voting doesn't work anymore. This fraud and theft is systemic now.

      No Future = NO PEACE

      October 5, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. joe

    Iff yo Kant shpell wards korekt Pleez donut pocht

    October 5, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  10. NoBS

    Erin Burnett, from the video on this page, does not understand what this movement is about. The bailouts are not even a part of this. What this is about is that the ultra-rich corporate interests buy all of the politics in our country. Plus, the rich get much more welfare than the poor, and the middle-class get no welfare. We politely call the ultra-rich people's welfare, "bush tax cuts", "tax loopholes", "bailouts", "mortgage fraud", just to name a few.

    October 5, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Liberal in KS

    Agree with Marty, the Tea Party is primarily a group of the wealthy. They oppose taxing the upper income folks. I'm NOT with those Tea Party people. I am concerned enough that I bought a firearm to protect what little is MINE, though. Expect eventual burglaries by the people SCREWED by the greedy corporations, if not riots. People have to eat somehow.

    October 5, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • DanH

      I think that many people are totally misinformed about the Tea Party and they did no research. Have you even been in the Tea Party website (probably not!).

      The Tea Pary wants accountable and responsible government and minimal taxes. What the Hell is wrong with that??

      WAKE UP... you might learn something.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stevan

      WOW you have no idea what your talking about...you just said the Tea Party was something that is the exact opposite of what it is. Please put the paint chips down. Tea Party made up of middle class and retiree's = the rich? Are you high? I follow the Tea Party and make 60k a year, married with 5 children. Am I rich? I sure dont feel like it. The people who are living on SSI watching their funds get worn away sure didnt look rich. Sure didnt see any 50k$ cars in the parking lot. But then your a Democrat Liberal who is ok with people like Marion Barry, Obama who hands out cash to corporations that go bankrupt. FYI Obamas top contributor in the last election...was BP. Remember them..OIL?? Your an idiot.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. conoclast

    Interesting how the protests are focused on Wall St. instead of Washington - but then everybody knows where the REAL seat of power is in this country, and it is NOT with the so-called "government".

    October 5, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • DanH

      Wall Street has hijacked the US Government. Wall Street Thugs now CONTROL Congress and The White House. That is a FACT.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JB

    Attention Whiners, winter is on it's way. Hang in their now, don't let the frost bite you.

    October 5, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      "Hang in there"

      October 5, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      There is always the the internet during the winter. And next spring and Summer. We are a patient lot. Winter we will not buy outsourced toys and costumes for Halloween. We will speak with our dollars.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. NoBS

    75.1% of enlisted recruits in the US military come from families with household income less than $65,032 per year. 25% from $65k to $250k. Those from ultra-rich household incomes over $250,000 per year are close to 0%. So the military is composed of almost 100% troops from middle-class or lower demographics. The heritage foundation reports are misleading by what they describe as middle and upper class. The children of the ultra-rich corporate interests that run this country and the children of the republican politicians they pay for do not die in anywhere close to the numbers of the children of the middle-class who die in our wars, fighting for the ultra-rich corporate interests to commit mortgage fraud, etc, and not get prosecuted. Vote for Democrats, like Obama, or the middle-class is doomed.

    October 5, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stevan

      The problem you describe is many faceted. I was enlisted for 10 years. First to be an Officer you have to have a degree (which I had) and to get a degree you need to go to collage....which of course costs A LOT OF MONEY. Now only the wealthy and the minorities can go to collage. Wealthy pay for it, minorities get grants/scholarships. Hell in some states (Dream Act) illegal immigrants get a free ride. Now why does school cost so much? Teach Unions you think? Collage professors making 400k a year? Spending tax dollars on football teams and stadiums..which in turn create revenue for the college?

      October 5, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Erisian

    I was part of the Reagan Revolution in 1980. I believe in the Republican ideals of fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, and the economic engine of small business. I believe that the Republicans have abandoned middle class small business owners such as myself and followed the money over to a small but wealthy group of corporate interests. I have watched over the past 30 years as the Republican Party abandoned middle America in favor of the interests of Wall Street, prescription drug companies, and individuals who make more than $1 million each year. I support the protestors every step of the way in their efforts even though I may not agree with everything they have to say politically.

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