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. carla

    Erin Burnett, I am so disappointed in your reporting on this and also the pictures you chose to use. Very lame.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • DTI

      Erin Burnett is tied to wallstreet.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Danny A.

    "we're going to gather together, then figure out what we want" quote from an idiot in the park.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      Danny Boy, they may not knowexactly what they want, but they're furious, frustrated and unemployed – and that my tea totter is a dangerous combination.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smitty

      Geronimo – unemployed what? Most of these zombies live off welfare and the Hispanics who are in this, the majority are illegal. You and I pay for them – to chant "Viva Che, Death to America, and More 9-11s"

      October 5, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      Smitty – my Haldol deluded friend – I do not mind paying my fair share to help people who are unemployed, hungry or homeless. But, I draw the line that sacrificing everything for rich parasites who have millions but want my last dollar too. They deserve to be stomped.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. CindySanfrancisco

    Thank you "Citizens United." What a horrible decision and I hope Congress (well at the next Congress) makes legislation that disallows that decision.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • scott00

      you fruit loops from cal keep sending nancy pelosi and the rest of your left wing nutballs until your state goes bankrupt which is not far away; please start your own new mexico and bankrupt yourselves

      October 5, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      Fruit Loops – you mean like Toucan Sam? You da bomb!

      October 5, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rob

    Wow. This is propaganda at its finest. Maybe they should ask the banks about fractional reserve banking, fiat currency, and compound interest. That lady had some nerve. I hope people don't fall for this crap. Until you change the way money works you change nothing.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. tem

    Oh my god. Who does Erin think she is? She is condescending and reductionist. She paints them all as if they are only down there because of the bailouts. It's more than that. It's the massive influence of corporate money on our political system.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. charles t

    America's arab spring has begun. Any last thoughts washington and wall street?

    October 5, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smitty

      yes -thanks to these ignorant moron zombies protesting, get ready to convert to Islam or be beheaded in your own country. That is what is coming in the future of America.....they are all over setting up terror camps and strategies right here in our back yard! Wait until the poisoning of food, water, etc occurs and millions are instantly killed. That is what they are planning. We instead listen to American Idol or rap music. – much more important! Surprise!

      October 5, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      "Wait until the poisoning of food, water, etc occurs and millions are instantly killed." Smitty, schookums, BP and Exxon Mobil have already poisoned our water, our food is also already poisoned and causing cancer (genetically modified anyone?) and millions are already killed by HMOs and Big Pharma who refuse to grant life-saving surgery or medication.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tony Rozman

    Shades of the 60's? Don't think so but time will tell. Consider this though who is exactly responsible for the state of the economy? Well, we wanted cheaper goods so company's began importing and it grew and grew now we import virtually everything. Businesses wanted to watch the bottom dollar so once they realized that goods imported from overseas meant they could cut labor, supervision and so on. Blue collars early on felt the brunt of it but it wasn't long before white collars began losing their jobs and so it goes. We try to improve our lives so we ask for more money and as wages rise overseas goods become even more attractive. We are all to blame.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smitty

      Easy – 30 million illegals spending trillions of dollars for them to get everything free – legal people have to pay for it.

      End all these ridiculous wars protecting Israel. They are the real Communists in this land controlling all the money. Why do you think 99% of Jews are leftist liberals????? They are NO friends!

      Those are the simple solutions!

      October 5, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Smitty

    Folks – this is the goal of the protesters simple and done:

    1. Turn this country into Marxism (Cuban style). Their heroes are Fidel Castro and the Che Guevara.

    2. Promote anarchy and riots like what happened in London using force, arson, and whatever necessary.

    3. To tear down the border with Mexico and allow everyone in.

    4. To eliminate US Military forces and all police forces.

    5. To eliminate Christianity and allow Islamic Extremists to do whatever they want.

    6. To convert ignorant people that Marxism is the only solution.

    7. To cause riots at all Republican presidential stops and the Republican National Convention.

    8. To protect gangs such as the MS-13, Crips, and Bloods.

    9. Release of all prisoners in America and political prisoners as well.

    10. To kill all Republicans and conservatives as much as possible (although liberals do not like the death penalty so yes or no???)

    This is their main goal. Just look at them. They are Zombies. They are wearing their Halloween masks in reality.

    These morons think that Communism is taking away from the rich and giving them to the poor and that is it! The absolutely do not realize that under communism, you lose everything........housing, cars, and most of all FOOD! All stores are subject to closure and all fast food places will close. You will be given a rationing card.

    On some of these photos, you can see protesters eating......same food they purchased at a local store at their leisure. They do not know that when Communism hits America, all that will be gone!!!!! GONE!!!!! and their hero Che Guevara, most praise this assassin without knowing what he really did!

    October 5, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • 23Lone Star

      @Smitty – Wow, did you think that up all by yourself? It must be difficult being you pal. But wait, isn't that your nurse coming down the hall to take you back to the residence? Oh good...relief is just a pill away. Thanks for stopping by.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • DTI

      You are nuts

      October 5, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • DAISHI

      Hi Fox News Talking Points. I thought you were taking a break today but looks like you're up to your old, loveable shenanigans.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      Well... I wouldn't mind if they "tore down the borders to Mexico," because the weather is a lot nicer there than in Chicago, and since I'm not making any money anyway... might as well live somewhere warm. Otherwise, you are one paranoid schizophrenic.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smitty

      Daishi – the Cuban National Television Company is calling you. They want to know how much more food rationing can Castro do to further starve his people. Viva Che!

      October 5, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. NothingsNew

    The idea of the protest is to regulate banks and reduce the political influence that Wall St. has on the government. The financial companies hire 5 lobbyists for every congress person in DC. There are still no regulations or controls on what caused the 2008 crash - credit default swaps. AND the tax payers gave these Wall Street crooks billions when those intensionally bad loans failed. People like to blame the individuals for taking out loans they can't afford, but really banks were putting people in sub-prime loans and more risky configurations just to take advantage of the credit default swap scam. When those loans failed they made billions!

    October 5, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • weemees

      Good post.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smitty

      The idea of these protests are to convert America to Communism and Marxism like in Cuba – bottom line. Most don't even know about Wall Street or banks or anything else. Most are only brainwashed by the Michael Moores that Communism is the solution without knowing the real ills of that system. They have no other objective. They will gain in strength and will burn down all businesses and side with gangs to cause trouble in this country. That is their objective. It will also start a Civil War because I sure will not allow anyone to touch my property and this is with force if necessary to protect us.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Good post. Yes you are correct.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • scott00

      amen brother

      October 5, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • DTI

      Very good post

      October 5, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. charles t

    smitty, what are you smoking?

    October 5, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      Probably Comet kitchen cleanser or Mr. Plumber.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ray

    She is So full of S*@#....She has no idea whats coming to her..and her little friends..The American People are waking up.......Expect US!!

    October 5, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Scottish Mama

    1% is wealthy and the other 99% are just lazy they say. I say you will never be wealthy because they make it so.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smitty

      Start with Michael Moore – millionaire director! He is standing there in front of these zombies telling them what to do and he is one of them......think about it!

      October 5, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      Is that right? Is it premenstrual tension or are you just naturally a b....?

      October 5, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Eric

    These Soros mobs are hilarious.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Smitty

    Obviously not what YOU smoke – so go ahead and join the anarchists. Just try to burn my store down chanting Viva Che! You will hear something else apart from Viva Che and it will not be good!

    October 5, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      Let's hope I don't see you first, Smitty or you might be in for a BIG surprise. Not all of us are gentle hippy types.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • DTI

      Dear 1%
      We fell asleep for a while
      Just woke up.
      Sincerely, the 99%

      October 5, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Paul Chalmers

    This is LAME. The left's answer to the Tea Party. Neither movement is grassroots , neither represents people who work everyday. If you want to get somewhere, then march on Washington. Having an idea of what real changes can be made in our political system might be a good idea while your getting there.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kelly A. Mercer

      If you think hundreds of people camped out on the street with no real beds, no real bathrooms etc.. and standing up for what they believe in is lame, then you are in need of a reality check. If you think marching on Washington is better, then put your money where your mouth is and go do it instead of posting lameness on here. That goes for all the haters. Especially the pale, stale and male ones.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cogito

      The DC event is scheduled for tomorrow...perhaps you should watch the news.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • My Name is "Bubba"

      What's lame is your suggestion that the street protest is not a fundamental function of democracy. I think this is a marvelous display – proves that America's dialog is far from monolithic. My only hope is that the present protest keeps growing and spreads. Then... it'll be interesting.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • ADiff

      The lumpen-proletariat has always been lame, and from these obviously lumpen incoherent protests, hasn't matured any...if fact it seems more juvenile and naive than ever!

      October 5, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      What's more lame than all the suit & tie people who work on Wall Street. They all look the same, think the same, act the same; Lame, Lame, Lame.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stan Willmann

      Americans have such short memories! Remember how the "Equal Rights" movement began? Remember what finally put an end to the terrible and foolish Vietnam War? Vietnam would still be a battlefield today without the "protestors"! Now let's talk about Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq! Just like Vietnam, completely un-winnable!

      October 5, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
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