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. Badly-Bent

    The problem is too many people who do not see a prosperous future. They do see an economy that has no room for them and are just beginning to question the long standing propaganda that has been here-to-with " forced down their throats." The reality that has been painfully obvious for so long is that 1% has prospered by convincing the other 99% to "go along with the program". And that program has been the idea that Free Trade will be in our own interests. And it has; for the 1%! We are not going to buy the rhetoric anymore. the experiment has been worse then a failure is has been a debacle and the consequences have been born by 99%. These courageous actions should encourage other victims who have until now, kept their opinions to themselves to express their discontent. We should no longer tolerate free trade, we should no longer tolerate unlimited corporate political contributions, we should no longer tolerate white collar criminals, we should no longer tolerate elections that can be perverted, we should no longer tolerate executives and board members who have no liability. Perhaps its time to adopt the European model of corporate ownership so that there is no escape from liability for anyone.

    October 5, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • boom

      Well said.

      October 5, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. David

    RON PAUL is the People's Choice in 2012! Place signs, bumper stickers, and volunteer. We only have one shot at freedom. All for Paul.  Join the REVOLUTION!!!!!

    October 5, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chucky McLovin

      Ron Paul would allow the destruction of women's rights, gay rights and the separation of church and state. Ron Paul doesn't even believe in evolution which means he's only qualified to scrub toilets at the mall.

      October 5, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lonewolf

      Get real, he is part of the problem. The Teabaggers want to keep the status quo and protect big business as they continue to profit on the back of working class Americans.

      October 5, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      that's just liberal hate speech chucky. if ron paul was a liberal you'd vote for him. just because you don't know any better.

      October 5, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • PY

      He is 76 years old,or you forgot about this little fact?

      October 5, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jan

      You must be nuts, no way that old fool should even have a platform. "Sheep" are going to group together just like they did to vote in pathetic Obama, and then'll we'll have another huge mistake on our hands.

      October 5, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chucky McLovin

      Chris, how is stating the truth "hate speech"??? I wouldn't vote for anybody that doesn't believe in the fact of evolution, regardless of where on the political spectrum they where. Yes, Ron Paul has a few good ideas but he has far too many deleterious ideas.

      October 5, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ll


    October 5, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • boom

      It's their plan. Show only the crazy ones. Go to gothamist.com. Plenty of pictures of the other 99% who are perfectly normal looking professionals and everyday people who joined tonight. This isn't a weird hippy thing. CNN and other sources just want you to think it is.

      October 5, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. clnee55

    Just wake? go find a job. Don't get lazy

    October 5, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. This report sucks!

    Seriously? The American people profited from the bailout? Tell that to the people who lost their homes, jobs, pensions, etc. Unregulated greed or pure capitalism, originally died in 1929 as a result of an early form of supply side economics. Because it was resurrected, we have and will continue to find ourselves in this spot over and over again until we put a stop to allowing the Billionaire Boys Club to take enormous risks with our money and not let us see the deals they make and do not understand themselves. On the individual level you will always find a way to out argue a 99%er, but collectively we are a black hole collecting the rage of the American people and I can't wait to see it unleashed on the 1%.

    October 5, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Why Use Facts

      The billionaire boys club was trying to be careful with their money. Then people were upset because they couldn't get the loan they wanted to live the American dream. So the people had congress change things and make it easier to get a loan. Now the people who couldn't afford a loan can get one. Yeah for the people. Now the people who have a loan they can't afford default and the bank repo the property, they lose money on the deal and the people lose their home. Evil banks, we need to regulate them more. Now the people are protesting because they aren't able to live the American dream. I think I have heard this somewhere before. Now when the bank offered to loan me more than I was comfortable saying I would be able to pay back, and eat, and enjoy life I said no thanks, I can afford this much. I didn't get foreclosed on even when I lost my job and took a lower paying job. Hmmm, I guess I should be protesting too, I'm tired of being responsible for myself, I want the government to take care of me and raise my standard of living. I'm sure the rich in people who have worked 70+ hours a week for years won't mind me sponging off them for a while. I'm a nice guy and I deserve it.

      October 5, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. father peter moore

    DRAFT A BILL – GET A SPONSER . ALL LAWYER POLS WHO TOOK MONEY FROM BIG CORPS TO USE TO GET RE-ELECTED ARE OUT. –FIRE CONGRESS . FIRE and file LAW SUITS against MAYORS WHO Encourage or permit police to Violate Peoples Civil rights – False arrests assalting people, intimidating protesters. The usual day to day practice of 90 percent of intellectualy challanged, Ethicly and moraly challange law inforcement...

    October 5, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • DTI

      The present system government is not a government of the people nor is it by the people. It is a charade and a mockery of Democracy. The authority that the people vested in the government has been systematically delegated and surrendered to interest groups, big business, and most unfortunately the bankers .

      October 5, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Patty

    This is just the beginning of the people taking back our country from the greedy who didn't care one whit about us while they make their millions, or billions. They were warned about the housing bubble, they were warned about risky investments, and they did it anyway and took their money and ran, leaving us without decent jobs, retirement, or a future. Republicans keep wanting more deregulation, which is why we're where we are. They don't care, the corporations keep filling their campaign coffers. It's time to fight back!

    October 5, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. V

    Why stop at Wall Street? We should tear it all down.

    @David – If you think the solution to all of our problems lies in the hands of the next corrupt politician we put into office, you've obviously been living on another planet your entire life.

    October 5, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Adam H

    All these people saying, "Stop being lazy and get a job" just don't get it. Corporate GREED and profits have SKYROCKETED to levels never seen before. Yes, we are a capitalist nation and making as much money as possible is encouraged. However, at some point there needs to be some level of fairness in all this. The middle class is being wiped out from the top down. Having billionaires hold onto the cash while people suffer or try to live the good life is just WRONG. If you shaved off 10-20% from the top 10% of peoples wealth, they'd live just as comfortable as they live now. They'd barely realize the money was gone. The money taken would be cycled through the economy and charge our recovery. All while giving the bottom 20% the chance to live the life all people should be able to enjoy. People will not give up on what's right and I'm proud to see protests rising. We live in a great nation and it's time we show it.

    October 5, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. father peter moore


    October 5, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. chris

    just remember that it was the current administration's job to oversee and verify all this bailout money. the same administration that is supporting these protesters. the great liberal hypocrisy. covered up by the liberal media. atrocities happened all the time in Iraq under Saddam's rule. proves if you control the media you can control what it reports.

    October 5, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. BigAL

    Write yourself in for 2012. Write in a neighbor. Just don't pick a politician with $100000000 in the bank that has no idea what the electric bill or groceries are. Wake Up, America!!!!

    October 5, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fed up taxpayer

      We are way overdue for enacting term limits for these idiots. We should start by eliminating the term, "career politician". There should be no such animal allowed in our country.

      October 5, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Fed up taxpayer

    This is indicative of what most of us taxpayers feel: That we NO LONGER have true representation by those we elect to office. Taxation without representation was one of the cornerstones of our revolution. Perhaps it is high time for another one.

    October 5, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jan

    These people need to get a life, many of them admitted on the news they have no idea why they are even out there, just being sheep and following the crowd, not having a brain of their own. This is how riots start, fools just join in mindlessly because other idiots are doing it too.

    October 5, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dean Z

    Congrats CNN...you have joined the ranks of Fox news with your coverage. It is clear what the message is...stop the corporate lobbying of our congress that screws the working people in america!

    October 5, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • finally

      Thankyou Dean Z you are very right. I am so glad people are finally gettin together in this country. This is just the beginning !! CNN don't pretend you do not know what they are upset about. This has been coming on for a long time.

      October 5, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • NewRebel

      Exactly, from a song I always liked...
      I don't mind chopping wood
      And I don't care if my money is no good
      You take what you need and you leave the rest
      But they should never have taken the very best
      the band

      October 5, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
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