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. ToughEnough

    Good start. Time to start using social media to post home addresses of the
    CEO's so the peaceful protests can expand to where it counts.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred Schm.

      Then you'll get break-ins and lootings and then a legitimate police reaction to that.
      Waste of time. Who cares.

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

      ToughEnough said "Good start. Time to start using social media to post home addresses of the CEO's ." ,,,,, How irresponsible of you to suggest this. This would not do anyone any good whatsoever. You'll end up getting someone hurt or worse which would be the end of any sympathy for this cause at the very least. As we've all heard said "Words do matter". So watch what you say and think it though and don't talk out of your a s s .

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

      Maybe they need to flatten a tire on a Rolls Royce or tar and feather some millionaire. Maybe then they'd get the news coverage that is deserved instead of this fluff.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. TruthIsStrange

    The ultra-rich do not get to be and keep being multi-millionaires without our help. We
    and ours help them and theirs tremendously. The ultra-rich seldom make the sacrifices
    that we and ours make for the good of this country. We and ours are near 100% of the ones
    that die in combat fighting for their freedom to find ways to screw us out of our money,
    like the mortgage fraud fiasco, where they still are not being prosecuted for their crimes.
    The ultra-rich do not get there without the help of us and ours. We build the highways
    they drive on. We and ours build and fly the airplanes they fly in. They come to us
    for their healthcare. We build the cars they drive. We build the houses and buildings
    they live in. We grow the food they eat. We engineer their electrical, chemical, civil,
    etc. We develop and maintain all of the computer related hi tech that they use.
    We teach their children. We work 60 hrs a week and get paid for 40 so that
    they can give themselves multi-million dollar bonuses, sometimes with welfare
    that we give them that we are politely, instead of accurately, call it things like
    "bush tax cuts", "tax loopholes", "bailouts", "lower or no tax rates on much of their
    income", etc. It's time for us to stop being so polite because that hasn't gotten us
    anywhere. It's time to put a stop to the rampant greed of the few. They are destroying
    this country.A lot of what they actually do is to try to find ways to create a country
    where the new definition of capitalism is where every advantage and most of the actual
    welfare is given to the rich. The ultra-rich and the ultra-poor are the only ones that
    get welfare. The middle-class get no welfare. We call the welfare for the rich
    "bush tax cuts", "tax loopholes", "fraudulent mortgage loans", etc. We call
    welfare for the poor "food stamps", "welfare checks", etc. A duck is a duck no matter
    what you call it. The middle-class needs to vote Democratic from now on. Please study
    up on what is going on because only if the middle-class bands together is this country going to survive.

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

      Yes, Darlin', what you say is true. But if we made them we can break them.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • ADiff

      The 'ultra rich' will never make any sacrifices. Count on it. You can end up f-ing everything up for just about everybody else...but you won't ever touch the very rich.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      History proves you wrong. The French peasants "touched" the very rich in the 18th century and Nicholas Romanoff and his family were all taken out. So, the very rich can be touched – after all, they are only 1% and we are 99%.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stan Willmann

      I hope that the "Occupy Wall Street" movement leads to a new political movement! Our 2-1/2 party system has failed us, big time! The Democrats are just a guilty of "honoring" the rich as is the GOP and the new Tea Party! None of these "politicians" are real patriots who actually care about the well being of our country! Everyone has an "agenda", even "taking oaths" that contradict their "oath of office"! But no one in these present parties will dare turn down a nice big juicy corporate donation! The people of America are being screwed, day after day after day! We are truly fed up!

      October 5, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stan Willmann

      The middle class needs a new party! Even the Democrats have forsaken us to serve their lobbyists and corporate "sponsors"! The Democrats don't care about Middle Class Americans anymore than the GOP does!

      October 5, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. A

    Burnett, it is so cheap to say that taxpayers made 20B on wall street bailouts implying that wall street paid back for the crisis it caused. First off, the biggest bailout package from FED was in a form bad assets for cash swap with insolvent banks. Thus these bad assets are still left with taxpayers and if the economy turns to worse the taxpayers still will have end up on the loosing end. It is called gambling with your taxpayers' money. Second, it is likely that FED actions will cause future inflation and this 20B that taxpayers "made" from bailout is nothing in comparison to the rise of real cost of goods in the future. Third, most important, the FED rewarded irresponsible behavior of banks at the expense of responsible taxpayers who earn they money honestly. This last point is major one because it erodes the economy from within because it is build on trust. Shame on you, Burnett for your dishonest comment about how much taxpayers made on bailout.

    October 5, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. sheila kind

    Good! If these people had started protesting as an answer to the TEA PARTY a year or so ago, we'd probably have a lot fewer deadheads in Congress right now (that is, Tea Party duds). This isn't just the Left's answer to the TP'ers, it's the answer of middle class youth and others of us who are being squeezed by that 1% of the populace who sees itself as the privileged and powerful, damn anyone else. We don't need lords and ladies, kings and queens, but politicians who answer to the other 99% of us.

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

      Lords and ladies? Kings and queens? Let's tell it like it is, they're parasites, drinking our blood and stealing from us.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • ADiff

      The politicians answer to "the other 99% of us"? ROFLMAO! You are SO deceived!

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

    "Down with Capitalism" "Death to America" "More 9-11s" "Viva Che Guevara" ......
    "Oh, here comes Michael Moore".......
    "Hello I am Michael Moore – death to Capitalism Viva Communism We won yes communism won"

    (Michael Moore – multi-millionaire director that I am sure eats our food by seeing how fat he is and lives in nice condos)

    A millionaire chanting death to capitalism in front of those ignorant zombies......hahahahaha.

    Oh, and Fidel Castro, their other hero – worth over $1 billion dollars........... How about that! But then again, they are not
    capitalists. They are nice people.

    BRAINS people – put them in your head.

    October 5, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      But you have to admit that Fidel Castro is a survivor. Otherwise, goofball, you really need to take a break before you burst a blood vessel. Being a troglodyte can be stressful.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Herne

      Ahem.... um......ya. lol.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • ADiff

      Mass murderers like Fidel, are always beloved by the Michael Moores of the world..... They're the same crowd that loved Mussolini and Hitler in the 30s...and never stopped loving Stalin and Mao.....

      October 5, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      You like like a rug ADiff. Like a rug.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. dmf0786

    The Wall Street protesters are heroes . This is in great American democratic traditions . These brave people are standing up , particularly the young folks , college graduates who are unemployed for a long time now . These are the people who care for America , our problems and burning issues in our communities and the Country . In the aftermath of economic recession , there is this growing popular under current in the U. S. communities , particularly in the poor and middle class people : that the U. S. political system and the Congress , is completely sold out to special interests , the Wall street companies , big corporations , big banks , oil companies etc .There is a complete disregard of the national issues and problems , by the Congress . The two major political parties have become vehicles , the legislations almost invariably are written , by the high powered expensive lobbyists , representing special interests . While the Congress has been watching and " doing nothing " : a ) " The median wages of male workers aged 25-64 declined by nearly 30 percent over the past 40 years " , b) There are 14 million unemployed and 12 million underemployed , 46 million people live below the poverty line etc . Contrary to the problems of the poor and middle class , the Wall street has seen a recovery of stocks index by 131% since January 2009 . The big banks made huge profits . The Wall street corporations , big business , big banks have been giving hundreds of million of dollars in bonuses . The economy is worsening and faced up with huge challenges . This has to change for the better now , before these protests spread like wild fire in the jungle .

    October 5, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joshua Powell

      Agreed 100 percent

      October 5, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stan Willmann

      I don't think our "politicians" are paying any attention, yet! This protest movement must continue, must expand to every major city. Hopefully, this will lead to a new "political" movement that will bring to the ballots someone "worth" voting for!

      October 5, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kweg Yung

    Bush's “Tax cuts for the rich” provided the revenue needed for corporate America's offshore expansion. He put us into debt while lining the pockets of his corporate buddies- giving them a head start offshore. The Republican party sold us (U.S.) out!

    October 5, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      Off with their heads!

      October 5, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Herne

    a few hundred?......CNN lol....(we can count y'know..)...... Try Thousands...
    I would suggest mainstream media pay a little closer attention.. Wall Street,Government and mainstream media.
    If you news people like your jobs....you best start reporting a bit more truthfully.

    October 5, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • My Name is "Bubba"

      Reuters puts the present protest in NY at 5,000. The LA gathering might be comprised of several hundreds – LA Times said "hundreds."

      October 5, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • ADiff

      Thousands of protesters....well a thousand zeros still amounts to zero. This crowd has "epic fail" written all over its under-achieving selves.....

      October 5, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      Well, not exactly Dum Dum Diff. A lot of zeroes are what make the rich parasites rich.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Smitty

    These zombies are chanting long live Marxism and death to all millionaires and wealthy people........then Michael Moore, multi-millionaire director shows up to chant with them and they all clap over him when they should be telling him to go to hell too.....

    Shows you the messed up brains out there........ How about that!!!!

    October 5, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      Michael Moore was there? Hotcha! I'd love to have his autograph.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Herne

      Smitty........I wasn't even gonna comment before, but, dude.....I don't know what planet your from?...or what right wing religious whackos your listening to? But you seem to have some really twisted perspectives of Micheal Moore... Micheal Moore is a self made millionaire who last i checked....is a pretty die hard fan of Democracy...belittling our very very corrupt government and making a buck. He deserves his money. I feel what he does is more of "public service", actually.
      Get ur nose out of that book of lies, you call the bible, grow up, and start reading FACTS and less mainstream media and government propaganda.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      Herne! Thank you! Maybe you shut him up?

      October 5, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Charlie

    God bless them is all I can say.

    October 5, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      I second the motion!

      October 5, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kweg Yung

    Evidently corporate America thrives on socialism. Why else would they move to communist China, where socialized health care and socialized education are the norm? Actions speak louder than words. Louder than the nonsense emitted from the mouths of the G.O.P.

    October 5, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Lewie

    Following the logic of this thread, then let's set a maximum income level. Why shoul the entertainment industry make millions, professional athletes make way too much and gues what people, it's those corporations that are paying them. Why don't we just prosecute corporations that are breaking the laws. If they aren't breaking laws, then you need politicians to enact legislation to protect the common good. But you know the corporations will just move to Malaysia, or China, or India.

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

      Not so simple. You see, laws are bent and broken to facilitate billionaires who line politicians' pockets. And there are loopholes and tax shelters – all legal – which is why the evil bank CEOs who vacuumed up billions of dollars and then p**sed on the rest of us are not in jail.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. carpathian2

    Today I went to just about every major metropolis' Occupy page on
    Facebook.. joined.. and posted the hell out of this information. If
    others can do the same, edit it, whatever, just make sure the gist is
    maintained which is that a globalist billionaire currency speculator
    created these protests on purpose.

    - what I posted -

    While there's an envy component to these protests, the real component of
    this.. like in 9/11 is subtle and critical for these 'protesters' to
    understand. A non-American currency speculator bought this ad from
    Adbusters and is hoping our market crashes if protests turned violent or
    truly disruptive.

    Adbusters is funded by The Tides Found. Guess who funds Tides? You guessed it, good ol Geoorge.

    So protesters enjoy being tools, and those against the protest -
    sympathize for these upset sheep. Not just sympathize, educate them, if
    they know the nature of their 'call to action' is not genuine it will
    have repercussions on their reality that simply insulting them will not
    accomplish to end this.

    -

    source http : / / bit . ly / pPMG6I

    October 5, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. senadi

    i think this is great, i won't be attending any protests though, i'm busy trying to get people employed and helping them start a business so they can start employing.

    October 5, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. A VETERAN

    This generation of babies has so much to learn. They need some tips from the 60s generation. We knew how to throw a protest and the push back was far more brutal. Their themesong should be Monster by Steppenwolf.

    October 5, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      The Bushies had John Lennon killed to make sure he didn't instigate protests and that scared the heck out of people – even Yoko who hides and spouts nonsense these days. But, the anger is getting to the point where people will refuse to take it. I see the anger and frustration on everyone's face, everyday. Soon, it will explode. Look out, Mr. and Mrs. Piggy.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Klaark

      Go show 'em how it's done. Or are you content to sit on your fat rear end? My guess is the later.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Craig

      These people are very smart, they have values, and they act upon them. Anyone calling them "babies" or any other disparaging label is either obtuse, the problem they want fixed, or perhaps simply fried from too many chemicals and Fox news reports.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hasselhoff

      some of us work and have families. i'm guessing these people don't. if jobs started opening up they wouldn't be applying anyways.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Travis

      Government has learned that it doesn't have to push back – it just has to wait people out. Everyone knows that liberals are emasculated cowards and that if the Feds just ignore them the movement will fizzle out rather quickly. It's not like this is an armed resistence or a resistence that would take some amount of courage. These are a bunch of morons holding signs in one hand and lattes in the other. Just sit back and they'll get bored in no time. There is an new season of "How I Met Your Mother" coming up after all. I know yuppies love that show.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      I wouldn't bet on it Hasselhoff and Travis. If there were jobs, they'd be working, and this time, Travis, they've gone too far. The masks are off, the gloves are off and the rich are sucking our blood to the point where we have little to lose. And when people have little to lose, the government cannot afford to sit back and wait... Read your history books on the French and Bolshevik revolutions. It's closer than you think.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
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