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. Lewie

    College tuition is ridiculous. Try putting 3 kids through. Yet the endowments grow and the tuition goes up not down. But that's ok, You know, it is not just Walk Street that is screwing America.

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

      How about going to a reasonably priced state school instead of some ridiculous liberal arts college where your kids are only get some worthless basket-weaving degree anyways? Goto a state school, get a degree in accounting or engineering or something that can be used. Or....I know this is truly unfathomable to you....but you can join the military and get a free education out of the deal. But then again you might actually have to work hard in the military so maybe that wouldn't be for you.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      Wow, Travis. You really are a hateful bag of pig manure, aren't you?

      October 5, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lewie

      Travis try shutting your mouth when you talk. You might make more sense then. I worked my way through school. There are no reasonably priced state schools and by the way, it can matter where your degree is from

      October 5, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. scooby

    Dear sign holder in picture. I do not support you or your 'movement'. Please don't assume the "99" are with you.

    October 5, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Klaark

      Ah, you support subsidies for oil companies already making billions and illegal, unpaid for wars? You're a terrible person, and stupid.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. lcinlc

    I keep wondering if someone were to drop one or two million in cash on this group of idiots...would they pool the money together "for the good of all have nots" or would they kill each other in their greed

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

      it would be fun to watch

      October 5, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      The cops would rush in and beat the heck out of the protestors, grab the money and give it to the Koch brothers. No contest, Nitwit!

      October 5, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Klaark

      The Tea Party couldn't bring itself to drop $2 million from the sky. They love money too much to give it to someone else, even if it was to make them look bad.

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

      I'd go with kill each other.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • lcinlc

      I'm betting Geronimo has never had anything BUT public assistance and run ins with the law...

      October 5, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ness1

      I think anyone would, not just the protesters. Admit it, you would too.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      You know what they say about people who assume things, right? Of course, it's a moot point because you're already and a$$.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I have skimmed this mess of liberal buzzwords and psychological projections of guilt.
    Loss4words made sense to me.
    I just came home from a long, hard day of tense work. I made a nice chunk of money. I'll enjoy spending it on myself, my family, and my friends.
    Try it, everybody. It's a great feeling.

    October 5, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Craig

      Hey genius, you think you discovered work? And you think we believe you made a "nice chunk of money" today? Your obvious lack of understanding of the issues motivating these protests and the response to them speak volumes. You have no life and never will.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Travis

      I agree with you to an extent. I'm tired of these flag-burning, coffee drinking, Nietzsche reading liberals too. But by the same token if the jobs aren't there then they aren't there. Just looking really hard doesn't change the reality of the job market. I'm all for a rugged individualism too...but there are also objective factors that determine the direction of our lives as well. If the economy is in a slump people are going to have a hard time finding work, simply as that, doesn't matter how hard they try to find it.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Klaark

      Enjoy the work while it lasts. Someone richer than you will decide they're not rich enough, and then you can kiss it good by. After you sell your copy of Atlas Shrugged, you can come join us, we're forgiving.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      Travis – confederate flag waving, Bush licking, tobacco chewin', sheep lovin' man of the world.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Lewie

    Tea party, Occupation movement. Two sides of the same coin.

    October 5, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    confused just made sense to me, too.
    He's not so "confused." He's just learned to say, as some executives do, "what are your plans," or "what is your position?"

    October 5, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. LiveFREEordie

    The demands are silly and clearly not based in reality. If you want to crush the monopolistic banks, you have to cut off their "head" which is the Federal reserve. You can start by demanding a fully transparent audit. Then dismantle the Fed once you find improper use of taxpayer dollars. This action will take gravy train from the banks and force them to stand on their own risk.

    October 5, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Lewie

    And let's cut off PACS, all political contributions, lobbyists, and the ulra rich from buying media influence as well.

    October 5, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. redneckssuck

    looks like bonnaroo without the weed

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

    hellow from , Los Angeles, thank you , thank you , thank you, , get mobile , get ready , the sleeping giant of the 99% is waking up ,

    October 5, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • DTI

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

      October 5, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Rob

    What seems to be missing is perspective from the press. In a country of over 300 million, how many people are there in these protests? I have YET TO SEE 1000's mentioned. Whether people agree or not (I don't) with the protests, the fact that the numbers are in the mid-100's tells a lot.

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

    If everyone would sell their slippers and only wear there combat boots, the proceeds from the sales could go to the protests to provide them with some free money! Fair, I defintely think so!!!!

    October 5, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Maplehead74

    LOVE IT !!!!!! This is what democracy looks like. The people are rising up and having the voice heard. Nothing is more patriotic then decent. WE THE PEOPLE ! Not we the government, or we the corporations.

    If you want to know more about the movement http://www.occupytogether.org/ or help out by sending supplies

    October 5, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Xena Peel

    The NYPD is moving against the Occupy Wall Street Protest, they are using pepper spray. This is the story you should be covering as breaking news, not fixating only on Steve Jobs death. Are you covering up this civil rights violation? Keith Olbermann is covering it.


    October 5, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. All for it

    I think this a good thing, its about time someone does something other than sit and wine, anybody notice the gas prices lately they have been dropping. We as Americans need for those above to see the real picture. Their politics have put this country in a mess. They even spend our money as their own. Still waiting for them to lose some of their perks. I would love a paid vacation and medical insurance!

    October 5, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
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