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. Keeping.Them.Honest

    When the sh|t hits the fan, I know their solidarity will vanish. But they are successfully selling Viagra and laundry detergent for the News Media outlets like CNN. In the end they are being used and not getting paid. Hahahahahahahahahaha. They get F'd and hold up a sign asking for prompt payment., but they exclude a mailing address or account number. Literally HILARIOUS.

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

    If this protest supposedly represents the oppressed then how come I don't see any blacks or hispanics protesting? Why is it that the only ones protesting are middle class white people? Is this just another ridiculous liberal "cause" where we swing by Starbucks to grab our latte and then head downtown to spend the rest of the day waving signs and texting our friends about how stupid Americans are and how retarded Southerners, Christians, Republicans, NASCAR fans, etc are?

    Oh dear...I do believe it might be one of THOSE type of protests lol. Well, at least coffee sales will be going up.

    October 5, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick S.

      As the distance between the poor and super rich grows the only group that is getting substantially screwed is the middle class. Hard working blacks and Hispanics that fall into the middle class are not there because, just like in Jon Stewart's rally, it is tough to get off of work!

      Unions are fighting for their lives and are the last pillar for the middle class to rest on. It's not racial, it's class warfare.

      October 5, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • we are peacemakers

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YIp_Kjo-ms

      October 5, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bill

    I am taking time off of work to protest! I want my share of free money, NOW!

    October 5, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      You could always sell your lovin', Hot Stuff. I'm sure there'd be a lot of takers.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • marma

      Bill, someday I hope you get it when your company asks you to leave. A good human and worker has empathy. (I bet you are one foot out the door now and don't even see it.) I wonder if when you are old Bill if you'll in fact like your Social Security check or perhaps even maybe a police man to show up when your window is broken and the robbers make off with your collection of overpriced Steiff stuffed kitties.

      October 5, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ken

    LOL - They're worse than Congress. Three weeks of sitting around, holding "General Assemblies", but still no clear message. They're all protesting something but they don't agree on what and don't agree on what they want. And then they walk around chanting about 99% and we're the 99%. Idiots! Do you know how many people in this country earn over $100,000 per year? Close to 10% make over $100,000 per year, and close to 40% make over $50,000 per year. And that's not including bonuses and benefits. When you include those costs, close to 17% of all Americans are earning over $100,000 per year in Salary and Benefits (Insurnace, Pension, all those benefits). So 99%? Far from it. Those folks earning a decent income know they can succeed and can make more money. So these protesters are representing closer to 50% of the nation. The same 50% who (no surprise here) pay no Federal taxes.

    October 5, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bill

    If everyone would sell their slippers, pool all the money into a central bank account, and anyone could withdraw money when they needed, the problem would be solved!

    October 5, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Haoran

    I am chinese, I just curious about the people who are arrested in the movement. It is just seems like my country's response of government..

    October 5, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      No sorry they were arrested most of them were released with in a few hours. Unlike in China where the tanks and APC's roll in kill a few dozen then arrest people and put them away for 20 years to life.

      October 5, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Another Vet

    This is my problem with these idiots...has nothing to do with liberal, republican, any of that crap...

    #1 Vast majority of these protesters are kids who've never even had a job or real world experience
    #2 They are demonstrating pure socialist tendencies, and probably don't even know what the word means
    #3 Every one of em has their "iphone" or "droid" out snapping pictures of the police
    #4 How are they going to get a job after they have a needless arrest record
    #5 If they were really so "humanitarian" why dont they sell their 500$ phones and their fancy laptops which are glued to facebook 24 hours a day and feed a few hundred starving people each
    #6 99% of these kids wouldn't know poverty if it hit them in the face
    #7 Nobody is making them work for a corporation or invest their money in wall street...in fact, nobody is making them live in America
    #8 They rely on tired old rhetoric blaming "republicans" and "tea party" .... well you know what, the "tea party" is nothing but old news anyways, think of something meaningful

    Overall, these kids rely on what other people tell them, they are just as much of sheep as the common person. They go with whatever hot trend is out and about, live their lives w/their invisible online friends, addicted to technology.....THEY are the ones who are being breed to look down, they are not visionaries, they are not doing anything useful, they will accomplish absolutely nothing from this.......NOTHING!

    They want handouts as if the rest of us don't struggle. I work 2 jobs and go to school, and barely get by...and you know what, I do it because i have a wife at home to provide for, and I don't complain that i'm underpaid and overworked.

    If they really want to see underpaid and overworked....why don't they all take an excusion to one of the many overpopulated, undereducated, poverty ridden nations with no food, no water, no shelter....and then they can talk about "struggle".......and to answer a previous posters question........if 2 million dollars were dropped at their feet, they would absolutely murder each other in cold blood for it.....that is a fact.

    October 5, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo

      I think they're doing it because they don't want to see our country become an overpopulated, famine-stricken, hell hole.

      October 5, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Haoran

      Aloungh living in US is much better than poor country, it is still right to aganist injustice. My government always told me:we live better than many countries in africa, so you should not complain anything.

      October 5, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Another Vet

      Haoran, the only 99% that is accurate about these people, is that even on welfare they live better than 99% of the rest of the world.......(but they're not on welfare anyways, they are middle class white kids who have been handed everything in a basket.....most of whom probably had their parents pay for their college ed.)

      October 5, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • marma

      They my dear are there for you. You can hate them for speaking a truth- but they are talking about where the country is right now. They can not be all put in a simple basket. They are all different ages, some older than you believe it or not- they are fighting for an America that is leaving our grasp and be taken by paid for politicians and money that sits idle in huge company coffers. You are uninformed. You need these people to win. It is the true America speaking.

      October 5, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cogito

      And you know all those things about these kids (ignoring the fact that there are plenty of adults there as well) because you have interviewed them all? You know them all personally?
      Exactly how is it you know so very much?.

      October 5, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. fahrenheit451bookstore

    More Feet in The Street! Yippee! Where are all those old Guard radicals like myself? Get off those couches, leave the offices and teaching jobs you have been hiding in and get back in the streets we need steering committies, your damn kids are in there 30's no excuses now Seize the Streets; Finish what we started make it right. fah451bks

    October 5, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Chucky McLovin

    I give my full support to these protesters. I also happened to see Erin Burnett's biased attack of this movement and she should be ashamed of herself, seriously.

    October 5, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • marma

      Agreed. She made a fool of herself.

      October 5, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Don

    It's worth a try, nothing else is working.........................And on the subject of protest movements, one directed at congress would be more to the point. ( I'm thinking of stumbling blocks here ) . With all the time on their hands, I'm sure they're looking out the window

    October 5, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. the prophet

    Thank you young people protestors. As a reformist I think you are on the right track!!! I among the the middle working class America could not protest not even for bad coffee at local coffee shop we are just to busy to be slaves to our Government endeavors.
    America is on the way to collapse people cannot afford to live and work here anymore corporate American is and has negated the working class, government defended this ideology that's why banks and corporation got bailed out,, about us? can we get bailed out!

    October 5, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bryan Beus

    I think it's great that the younger generation is choosing to be politically active. Taking that CNN has an accurate report on the numbers, the protestors can gain valuable experience and will be better prepared down the road. Keep up the spirit of fighting for truth, protestors!

    October 5, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. shutup

    time to get organized andt make some demands....

    October 5, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      Get Organized? Make some demands? Ha ha then what? These people say they can't find work but they have the time and the money to get dressed up in costumes at the same time they are sending emails on their cell phones. You start trouble watch how fast the police gun you down.

      October 5, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. shutup

    time to get organized and make some demands....

    October 5, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bill

    While I am opposed to the great unwashed now occupying Wall Street’s curbs and sidewalks, in some ways I agree with them, and I am a conservative republican. I look at the Wall Street Bankers, investment houses, floor traders, etc. who are taking home millions, even billions in salaries, bonuses, stock options, etc., 250-300 times what a hard working American makes, and it reminds me of the first time I went to Las Vegas, looked up at all the glitzy casinos, and said to myself, where did they get all the money to build all this?? Build more, offer more, and they will come. Give some of them back 6-7-8% and they will feel like winners. IRAs and 401Ks are like that. Offer it to the masses, give Wall Street more to play with, and they will take more, and more, and more.
    At one time Wall Street existed to provide capital to grow our nation. Now, it provides a growing number of million and billion dollar salaries, bonuses, etc. Write rules that give you more, grease the palms of a few (or all) congressmen, and all of a sudden you are rich, wealthy beyond imagination. To hell with us little people who were enticed by gov’t tax policy to give more and more to Wall Street. Just like Las Vegas, the more you give them, the more they make, only in Vegas, the slots will eventually pay off. Not so with Wall Street.
    Ain’t this aspect of capitalism grand. So to you unwashed on the sidewalks and streets of NY, see if you can’ get some of my 401K, IRA and home value back. Stick it to these greedy B _ _ tards good.

    October 5, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Weix

      This country can only be saved by ridding it of our entrenched and corrupt politicians and major financial leaders. Maybe, just maybe, Spring in America is finally coming. Hopefully we can undo some of the damage done in the past 50 years. Both Republican and Democratic parties are useless, as they too are just a group of corrupt people that represent nobody, and the Tea Party is just old, brain dead morons. Get rid of them all and let God sort them out when the time comes.

      October 5, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • ryan

      You need to go wash your behind and get out there too.

      October 5, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • CentralFLBoy

      While you object to the "great unwashed" occupying Wall Street, remember it was the "great unwashed" who founded America, too. Whether you are Conservative Republican or Liberal Democrat – it doesn't matter – don't self-assign a label to yourself. You are part of the 99% who are economic slaves to the corrupt 1%. It's time to take back our country and reassert a government of the People by the People and for the People.

      October 5, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
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