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. nicole

    Its sad that I have to go to other countries news sites to get updated info on the protests. All of your stories are biased BS. I will no longer be watching CNN or browsing this site, it is pathetic.

    October 5, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • USCitizen

      Stop the corporate lobbying....Do you really think that reporting on it stops it! We stop it, not CNN, Not Congress – WE.

      October 5, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Peikovain

    This can end with a group marriage, followed by the group suing each other for alimony and dissolving.

    October 5, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JustaWorkingAmerican

    We the people need to take back our country and our planet. This is not a bunch of kids throwing a fit. This is a global revolution that is going to sweep through every country and every land on Earth. It may take a generation to accomplish it, but it will happen. Even I, in my mid 40's and gainfully employed, paying taxes and pulling my weight and doing just fine, support this movement. I don't want to see my child subjected to the gross inequities of unregulated, unbridled, greed and capitalism where the wealthy have the ability to completely control the government of our country, or of any peoples across the world. That concentration of power and wealth spawn the wars that destroy people exactly like you, sir reader, when you stand in their way of further concentrating their power and wealth or simply disagreeing with them. Our elected representatives do NOT represent the people because they are under the influence of the almighty dollar, the strongest drug in the world. Lock congress up in a rehab center and take their millions from them. Half are millionaires and probably more attorneys just waiting for their turn to suckle off of the teat of the American tax payer. Disgusting.

    October 5, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ziggy

    This is what the unions are using your taxpayer money for, that loser obama gave to them in the form of bailouts.

    October 5, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ness1

      Just like the loser George Bush gave Wall Street a 789 billion dollar bailout?

      October 5, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. NewRebel

    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 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ali ahmed

    Finally a peaceful American spring, addressing the biggest problem facing America and world in general... the greed of few who already have too much. Problem is not them having too much.. not at all ..America is you work hard you get rewarded. Problem is destroying people's livelihood in achieving your greed. The bailout money that could have gone to creating jobs and putting food on table in every home in America. Wouldn't that be a nice trade for private jets and bonuses for a handful.

    October 5, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. phnxrth

    If the protesters can make the point that there's way too much dishonesty in the so-called leadership of this country they can get on the right side of history with this thing. I expect govt. to pretend to ignore it while they figure out a game plan. Then I expect efforts at appeasement combined with denigration, maybe a couple half-hearted promises made. They want all the advantages and I don't know how anyone dislodges that thought from the human psyche. As long as that's the case they can't be on the side of the people, but how would a change be forced?

    October 5, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. PsiOps6

    I'm disappointed in you Erin. I've been watching you on CNBC for years ( I watch all day everyday because invest my own money) and thought better of you. The smartest thing #occupywallst has done is NOT provide a message for the media to zero in on. The whole country knows Wall Street screwed them. You know it and I know it. Just because the protesters can't articulate the structure of a synthetic CDO, explain what VAR is, or where to look on the Bank of International Settlements web page to see $600 trillion in OTC derivatives doesn't mean they are stupid or irrelevant. Wall Street gambled and lost. We bailed them out and they doubled down. They are going to lose again. The bond holders are playing musical chairs to see who gets stuck with the check. Like Soros said though, "The music has already stopped. Seriously.

    October 5, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • sstack

      PsiOps – lets not forget main street took a gamble and lost as well. We both know that a lot of people gladly took home loans they knew, or should have known, would be a problem if the home didn't go up in value. Many also never had any intent on fulfilling the loan entirely. Instead they assumed they would cover a few years of payments, live in a house they could never afford to buy outright, and then flip the home for a profit, because of course homes never go down in value. Americans as a whole got greedy and assumed things would always go up, completely loosing sight of how to live within their means. Sure, Wall Street may have manufactured the rope, but americans sure lined up to buy it by the mile so that they could willingly hang themselves with it.

      October 5, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ToughEnough

    "If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them, will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”
    – Thomas Jefferson

    October 5, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Pepinium

    No matter what the iindividual political views may be, I believe the 99% can find a common cause in the certainty that it no longer lives in a representative democracy. The first goal of this movement should be to reform our election system so that our leaders cannot be bought or selected by the power elite. Current technology should allow the design of a system of direct voting that does not include "middle men" and eliminates the influence of powerful interest groups who do not have the best interest of the average citizen in mind. The middle class in this country has, for the last 30 years, been hiding its head in the sand and maintaining the illusion of personal success only by the grace of easy credit, which is no longer an option. Now , finally, people have no choice but to face the fact that their security and their future has been stolen by the corrupt and the greedy. This movement, though still in its infancy, signals the beginning of the end of the status quo and the silent majority finally waking up to rescue their DEMOCRACY!!!

    October 5, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. JRC

    Does anybody who isn't afraid of working for a living actually care about these whiners?

    October 5, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • JustaWorkingAmerican

      I sure do JRC. I work for a living and take good care of my family. I think you might want to wake up and smell the coffee. This country and, indeed much of the world, is changing. I wish you the best, and hope you change your view.

      October 5, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • nicole

      I work my a** of everyday to support my family. I'm 28 years old and I have always had a job from the time I was old enough to work. Its not just the unemployed who are protesting. And yes some people are too lazy to get off their butt and even attempt to get a job but that is not the majority. I support them and care very much about their protests.

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

      I not only work my butt off for a living, I'm self-employed & actually create jobs...here...in the US...not in China, not in India, not in Afghanistan or Pakistan. I didn't need a tax cut to do it & I paid more taxes last year than GE did & ExxonMobil did the year before, and frankly I'm sick & tired of being "trickled down" upon.
      Time to wake up JRC and get a healthy dose of reality...

      October 6, 2011 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  12. Divune

    wow.... CNN and Fox news are finally one!

    October 5, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chucky McLovin

      I think they've been pretty much the same since way back when CNN hired Glenn Beck.

      October 5, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bud

    It's time for Mommie to call the iPhone and tell Jr to come home to the mansion. BTW, are these "celebs" going to tear up their corporate contracts? Well, not Yoko of course, who doesn't have a corporate recording contract for some reason. But I bet she cashes John's royalty checks. And Moore must be out of the movie business – not that he was ever really in it. Commie whiners.

    October 5, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. hmmm....

    Cool...this is like watching mice on wheel. Poor young things are so easily used as pawns and mislead by those who hide in the background. Leaderless is best...so much easier to take over and control- thank goodness the unions are helping out. That's will earn them and the democrats a large thanks next election peeriod.

    October 5, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • S1N

      Meh. These protesters are making the same mistake the hippies made. You can NOT have meaningful, short-term change without literally forcing the powers that be to change. In other words, peaceful protest is much less effective than widespread rioting.

      October 5, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Sasha

    CNN, you are so cheap! I came to get information and what I found? Girl that pretend that it is funny. The cheap propaganda
    that pretend proterstors are idiots.
    CNN,thats reportage is what you can get from wallstreet?
    Don't call yourself reporters!

    October 5, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • marilyn


      October 5, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
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