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.

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soundoff (946 Responses)
  1. Albert Sweetman

    The real problms are the coniving, greedy gridlocking frontmen of the corporate and wall street rich 1%ERS. Does Cantor & the GOP ring a bell ? Their the majority in congress, whom have usurped the will of the people by simply closing the door on the President's jobs bill and his whole "change agenda." They have the money and airtime to lie their way into a majority in congress and then the less educated american lambs are herded into the ballot boxes to shoot them selves on the foot, by neutralizing the votes casted for the president !!! Then you wonder why Obama can't finish what he started. " you know " That change you thought you were helping create !

    October 5, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • parentof6

      They're in the majority in the House but not the Senate. The Democrats controle both houses with huge majorities for two years and passed this radical agenda you are promoting. Now tax paying Americans are rejecting your agenda. I can't wait for 2012. You are naive and ignorant. Keep it up and you probably won't even graduate.

      October 5, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mittens

      The Democrats don't control both houses, nitwit. THE SENATE IS ONE OF THOSE 'HOUSES' YOU SPEAK OF! LOL. And you'll replace Obama with...Sarah Palin? Got news for you, sport; that doesn't play well outside Free Republic. This is not a left/right thing, anyway. It's about getting people to stop voting against their own self interest.

      October 5, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • PE

      Mittens: you sound so intelligent...readparentof6's message again and think hard this time. The poster was saying that for 2 years prior to the 2010 elections, both the house and senate were controlled by Dems, not to mention the executive branch as well. Typical irrational idealogue

      October 5, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • ryan

      Their all Jewbaggers

      October 5, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. lps

    On a earlier thread I saw signs that said Nazi banker and heard a young man shouting The Jews own Wall St. How come no one is questioning the anti-semetic tone of some of these protesters.

    October 5, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • miami

      Based on something someone here said? You need a little more than that.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mittens

      Why? Because most people don't make conclusions based on something you saw on some thread. LOL.

      October 5, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex Winter

      This is CNN – no criticizing liberals allowed.

      October 5, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Weiss

      I I am J ewish and I believe that many prominent bankers are J ewish ...

      Does that make me Anti-Semitic too ???

      October 5, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Vjay

    and roll back my credit scores back to 2001 before 9/11, roll back everything back to 2001, we the 99 % did not created this mess, and we should not pay for it by taxes, spoiled credit reports, loss of jobs, loss of homes.

    October 5, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Monica Suwyn

    It seems clear to me that the message of Occupy Wall Street is to make known the frustrations of "Middle" class Americans, which really isn't anymore and lower, of trying to make a living, find a job w/a supposed 9percent unemployment rate, but remember another extension on unemployment has not been approved so that percentage rate is incorrect; trickle down economics, isn't that so typical of the elite to use that in order to keep a hand on their riches, and big corporations and millionaires/billionaires, BARELY if even paying any taxes at all... And now the media wants to ask those that are down there representing Millions of us if they're going to be the next tea party?? Are you for real?? This isn't about that AT ALL??? Is the media THAT DEAF and DUMB which makes one wonder if the media is willing to answer YES to that, muy bet is the Gov't. Is too, which has been proven time and time again..

    October 5, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Concerned

      Glad to see people stepping up and making noise. This is the only true way to get change. Keep making noise until the Politicians can no longer ignore it. Otherwise, we all know where their campaign funds come from.

      October 5, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • parentof6

      I think it's probably more about skipping school or being paid to protest. Just another play in the communist manfesto.

      October 5, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • yada

      Glad to see ppl finally standing up and making noise. It's taken 10 years for this to happen but finally the young generation has had it's fill. The only way for change to happen is to make some noise! Would love to see Americans stop buying products made outside the USA. This is the perfect season to begin. No more Wal Mart or any stores that are non-domestic buyers!

      October 5, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bill

    Why not protest infront of GM. They got bailed out. Oyea, their union thats OK. We get more people out for our kids HS football game then they have at wallstreet.

    October 5, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pliny

      Bill....did you play HS football...without a helmet?

      Go back to thinking what Rush tells you to think...and believing that you are 'informed'.

      Bill is an example of why there should be an IQ test given before a person is allowed in a voting booth.

      October 5, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • parentof6

      and Pliny is a perfect example of why we don't let children vote.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • miami

      Saving GM saved millions of jobs and they are paying back the money. What did wall street do with their no strings cash?

      October 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  6. this is just beginning

    USA must be liberated from financial terrorism on wallstreet

    October 5, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. mehmet.cas

    We (you) have only one way-return to the real money with real parity. Do you remember Fort Knox ?

    October 5, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. larry5

    Don't worry. Obama ans the rest of the government will step in. It's called protecting their meal ticket.

    October 5, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sean

    I am beginning to really hate that no media source will take it seriously because of the lack of "specifics". As a metaphor: i had a terrible roommate in my house once. Terribly sloppy, had a ferret too. When i kicked him out for his slop and disrespect, he did not even clean his junk out for a month, didn't even look in the room until i had a new tenant need a room in a hurry. We finally opened that door and it literally looks worse than a hurricane, atleast 2 ft of just dirty clothes and junk food wrappers, cases, even several months worth of ferret crap. We had to take snow shovels and full trashcans to get all the junk out, and naturally gut the entire room. WE ARE SAYING THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS THE BAD TENANT AND WE NEED A SNOW SHOVEL!

    October 5, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |

    We blame the man, but don't include ourselves.
    Self-victimized ignorati w/ ignored history on shelves.
    We want the power back that we happily gave away.
    Crying oppression & deception & that we have 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 youths are dressed like phuckin' zombies.

    October 5, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      Yes Blsdeep – you are indeed proof positive that empty barrels make the most noise.

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

    Our Country has put too much emphasis on the day to day movement of the Stock Market. That is short sighted. We need to take a longer look at what is best for America. Put less emphasis on the stock market and more on long term America first strategies.

    Corporate Executives mentality is get all they can as quick as they can. Ship jobs over-sees, get a reduction in labor costs, which gives a temporary spike in stock prices and use that to get a big bonus. It puts millions in their own pocket, but in the long term it is destroying our economy.

    America no longer makes things. We have become a consumer based economy and worse yet since many higher paying jobs have gone oversees, we no longer have the income to support this consumer based economy model. Without radical changes we cannot continue the smoke and mirrors and the propaganda of this stock market myth.

    October 5, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. I Don't Like Lemons

    "When life gives you lemons say 'F*&# the lemons,' and bail."

    October 5, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio)

    Visit: http://www.endthespending.com

    October 5, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JoeT

    How come all of the photos on the CNN site are of the crazy-looking old guy with the funky green glasses and the young dude made up like zombies? They couldn't find a picture of a more typical-looking American?

    October 5, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • mehmet.cas

      yeah, that's right. its retorical question...

      October 5, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dean

      Those are the most normal-looking people there.

      October 5, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • conrad

      The photos of the wackos are an effort to discredit the protests and the concerns they represent – without having to take a stand and write it in actual words. kinda cowardly actually.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. SoVeryShy

    Anyone who can still afford a protest sign is too rich.

    October 5, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
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