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. marilyn

    Occupy Wallstreet should be the lead article on all news agencies. This will be big. Young and old unite....this is the Change we've been hoping for. WAKE UP People.

    October 5, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesse Figueroa

      Amen! I hope everyone wakes up and puts pressure on the 1% to give some of the 2 trillion dollars they hold. Trust me it will be fine if you rich people downgrade from a Ferrari to a BMW. trust me you'll live

      October 5, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. TOMMAS

    HEY...STOP STANDING AROUND...BE CREATIVE...EITHER GET A JOB...GET AN EDUCATION...STOP SPENDING MONEY ON USELESS ITEMS AND/OR SAVE SOME OF WHAT YOU MAKE. THAT IS HOW YOU GET WEALTHY. THIS MOVEMENT IS NOTHING MORE THAN PANHANDLERS LOOKING FOR A FREE RIDE ON SOMEONE ELSES BACK!

    October 5, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really

      Tommas, there are plenty of people where I am from that have education (degrees, training etc.) who aren't "standing around" as you put it, who can't find jobs within or outside of their fields. They're sick of it as are a lot of people. Living within their means nowadays means doubling up households and spending as little as possible because they're not earning jack. Btw: your caps lock is still on.

      October 5, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Really

    Dear CNN, it sucks that we have to go to foreign news outlets for quality news coverage of events happening in our own country. Stop dumbing down the news. Stop plastering your stories with photographs of the fringe of the movement while ignoring the majority of the movement. Stop painting inaccurate portraits of what is really happening. Stop trying to entertain us.

    October 5, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      I'm finding that European and Canadian, and independent online news sources are covering this WAY better than any American news source, its as if the American news sources (or at least their rich executives) are trying to delegitimize the movement

      October 5, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. TOMMAS

    THE WRONG PEOPLE WOULD NOT GET WEALTHY IF YOU DIDN'T GIVE THEM ALL OF YOUR MONEY! TURN OFF YOUR TV, STOP PAYING HIGH PRICES FOR ENTERTAINMENT, SPOT THE TECHNOLOGY ADDICTIONS, GET A JOB AND START LIVING WITHIN YOUR MEANS!

    October 5, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jesse Figueroa

    Woodstock Pt 2 – This is only the beginning of a revolution of the lower classes rising up. And i hope it doesnt stop anytime soon. These coporate giants who are abusing the people of America must and will reap what they sowed. Enough is enough, no longer will we the people be bullied and dictated by this self proclaimed plutonomy that they have created. These protests are not just a phase but a reflection of the ever grow frustration inside of the oppressed. Also let me clarify something. As i type this message i am doing so on a mac. Is this hypocrisy? No because our dilemma is against the one percent. Those who created this mac ( praise to Steve Jobs and condolences for a man who was truly remarkable) are not the one percent instead they too are hard working Americans. The one percent are the CEO's of companies who horde their wealth without the slightest sight of reality and the folly of there childish ways. Share! you learn that in Second grade. I Hope and will be joining Occupy Wall Street in NY soon and hope also to see many more Americans rally in there local communities to promote local businesses and condemn the inescapable cycle of greed created by the Wall Street Giants

    October 5, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. TOMMAS

    THE PER CAPITA FEDERAL TAX REVENUE FOR THE USA IS $8,528.22. IF YOU DID NOT PAY THAT MUCH FOR EACH PERSON IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD IN TAXES LAST YEAR, THEN STOP COMPLAINING! YOU AREN'T PULLING YOUR OWN WEIGHT. YOU ARE NOT PAYING FOR YOURSELF AND IF YOU HAVE A FAMILY, YOU AREN'T PAYING THEIR SHARE EITHER. GUESS WHAT! THAT MONEY COMES FROM SOMEWHERE...THAT 1% IS PAYING YOUR SHARE ALREADY...STOP ASKING FOR MORE!

    October 5, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jesse Figueroa

    BTW how come these protests arent being covered with 24 hours coverage and on every news station? Oh wait i know probably because the news is manipulated and controlled by these corporate giants and so they refuse to promote the very force that threatens them.

    October 5, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Richard

    That report on the protest is total propaganda. The protest isn't about the bailout, that's what the Tea Party would protest. The protest is about the years of corporate hijacking of our democracy. Things like repealing citizens united and campaign finance reform are the demands. Also, making the rich pay their fair share in taxes when they are currently paying an all time low, making the rest of us bare the burden. If your reporters went to the protest and didn't have the brains to understand what the protests were about, while I, sitting at my computer watching the livestream footage DID, then i suggest you stop hiring pretty faces and start hiring some smarter reporters.

    I use to trust CNN but after this atrocious coverage, I don't think I will anymore. You snark at the middle class when they demand that government hear their voices.

    October 5, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. TOMMAS

    GET BACK TO WORK AND EARN SOME MONEY! PAY YOUR $8,528.22 BEFORE YOU START TALKING ABOUT WHO SHOULD GIVE YOU ANOTHER HAND OUT. YOU SHOULD BE EMBARASSED IF YOU CAN'T PAY YOUR TAX RESPONSIBILITY. WHAT PERCENTAGE OF YOUR INCOME GOES TO ENTERTAINMENT AND FRIVILOUS SELF INDULGENCE?

    October 5, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cogito

      Nobody is asking for a friggin' handout.
      I think you spelled your name wrong...it should be 1 "M" & 2 "S"'s...

      October 6, 2011 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
  10. howtofixwallstreet

    lets get a website going called corporategreed.com and let us the 99% people report all the corporate stealing that is going on. CA Technologies laid off 500 people so that the upper management can get bonuses

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

    Why hasn't this story been updated? A major NYC protest march takes place. People pepper sprayed by police and CNN fails to cover it? Or is it a cover up? In either case it's irresponsible journalism.

    October 5, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. TOMMAS

    RICHARD, THE TOP 1% OF EARNERS PAY ALMOST 40% OF ALL THE TAXES. THE BOTTOM 50% PAY ONLY 2% OF ALL OF THE TAXES. HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT THEY DON'T PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE?

    October 5, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. V

    The Government, The News Media, and The Greedy are so quick to demonize or discredit what they don't like. Make no mistake; we WILL take this country back, by force if necessary! If you can't join the protests in the streets, join the online ones! This is the start of the revolution we've all been dreaming of! It's been dancing on the tips of our tongues for too long! Our time is now! Join us, or get out of our way!

    October 5, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ted

    WHO broke the economy? They are the Greedy, Banks, Wall St. Toxic Assets Engineers, Credit Rating Agency, CPA Firms, all work together a scam. Guess what, they still working and earning a high paying job, shopping for Luxury goods. If you notice, luxury items and department, cars are selling very well. Let's focus on how we going to have them pay back. They are very tricky though, they keep telling us that if they go down, we go down as well. So they hold us Hostage. Come on, don't be con. We just hang the banks, Wall St. just long enough to pay back the debts, return the money to US Tax Payers.

    October 5, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. TOMMAS

    V...where do you think this "take the country back" movement will get you? The only way to take back the country is to let your dollars do the talking. Stop buying things that make the wrong people wealthy. Two perfect examples include overpriced entertainment and unnecessary technology. So many people cry about the "wealthy", yet so many of these same people throw their hard earned money at these overpriced athletes, entertainers and other celebrities. So many people cry about how much their boss makes, but applaud the millions and billions that celebrities make. Start there, and I bet we will see a change.

    October 5, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Celebs?

      The celebs are only a fraction of the rich. Besides, it has nothing to do with who has a lot of money, it has to do with what those whose primary concern is their super wealth/power and what they will do to the economy, policy, and everything else to continue expanding their wealth and power. That and the corporations... Or so the mantra goes. Of course the high powered money-makers and over-spenders seem to be foundations of our economy. Sigh.

      October 6, 2011 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
    • billyslap

      we live in a corporatocracy, its the corporations/rich/money that control who you will get to choose from by choosing for you 2 major candidates, that are for them and not you. LOL you all think you have a choice, sure, from the 2 they choose for you, haha

      October 6, 2011 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
    • BrightLight

      I don't know who came up with 1percent to 99 percent as that is very erroneous. The whole thing is just hurting the USA so badly. Why don't you protest Saudi Arabia or the rich oil countries and ask them for handouts? Because nobody hand outs. Nothing wrong with charities, hard work, creativity, etc. and yes slavery was abolished so if you find work you should receive compensation. If these complainers could put their effort into building anything and selling it they would have a job and help the economy.

      October 6, 2011 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
    • BrightLight

      Americans have become so lazy that they give away their pets rather than devise a way to earn more money. The unions are just the epitimy of the laziness.

      October 6, 2011 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
    • BrightLight

      Truth Hurts but here is my last post and it is the truth. Wether your in the 99 percent under a Billion in wealth or in the 1 percent really doesn't matter because there is not enough US money to pay out about the bottom 15 percent. It is all on paper and promises. It is all on hard work and promises I should say. So what are you really protesting? Numbers on paper. You and every other person wether rich or poor is in debt a great deal of money. So logically that is why we can not really see any logic, or intelligence to speaking out via a protest.

      October 6, 2011 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
    • ohmygod50

      It is amazing to witness first hand how the wealthiest people in NJ (Wall Street thieves and Bankers/Financial Advisers) have tripled their incomes over the past five years, while the rest of us are either being laid off..or waiting to be laid off.....the banks fire their NJ work-force, hire Indians who ALL have fake resumes, and then..the banks get credit for adding jobs to NJ. What a joke. How can a broker at a bank make 500,000 per year, while the systems people....WHO MOVE THE MONEY, MAKE SURE THE BANK OPERATES ON A DAILY BASIS.......they get paid a pittance.......and are all getting laid off to these Indians with FAKE RESUMES........I hope people know that their banks are allowing people with fake resumes access to all of their private data.......

      October 6, 2011 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Onam

      I agree with you Tom. This is actually for your commentator. So, what exactly do you expect to happen? We take the assets and money of anyone whom we feel isn't spending or using their power in the manner WE feel is appropriate? Who gets to decide whats appropriate and how we spend our money? Do we make a committee or board, or just give that power to one person?

      Why do people feel they have the right to tell other people what to do with their property or assets? Why do they feel they know better what to do with money or power than someone else? Perhaps they do, perhaps they don't. What right do any of us have to take things from anyone else. "The rich" gets thrown around alot. How about we try calling them by name. Bill Gates, George Sorros, Barrack Obama, Rick Perry. All of these people are wealthy, but more importantly, All of these people are people. It's easy to justify hurting a faceless group, it's allot harder to hurt someone when you know their name and look them in the eye. Stand in front of someone and tell them they make to much money and then tell them what they should do with it. That's exactly what so many of these kids are advocating, so stop hiding behind terms like "beneficial redistribution of wealth" and "greedy wall street bankers." Try naming a few of them, walking up and telling them what they should do with their money. See how fast your nerve drops when you realize how wrong you are to try it.

      We have a beautiful system here. You don't like someone, you don't have to have anything to do with them. You think someone is a greedy jerk, don't give him money. You think someone is a pig, don't talk to them. You don't have to, that's that beauty. Problem is, we have too many spoiled brats in this country. Whining about jobs, I see a hundred or more of my fellow students wandering around campus after class, screwing around and complaining they don't have time to work, schools just too hard and their parents just won't give them enough money to go out drinking... No, obviously our problem is with the people who do create jobs, innovate and build businesses, that must be where the problem is...

      October 6, 2011 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
    • V

      Farther than being a sheep will get you. Just FYI, "V" isn't 1 person, we're a group. We've been doing exactly what you just suggested for quite some time now. We grow our own food, build our own computers, make our own cloths, and we don't buy anything that's not made in America.

      October 6, 2011 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      Hey Onam, what do you think the American Revolution was other than redistribution of the power structure and assets in the colonial colonies?
      This is about more than complaining about the rich have too much money.
      I'm not against success. If someone creates or invents something that makes them billions of dollars, I have no problem with that. If someone comes up with a better system for doing somehing and gets compensated for it, thats fine with me.
      What I am against is multi-national corporations who use their wealth to manipulate legal systems, bribe lawmakers and commit crimes in the pursuit of success.
      It's not only a few highly placed people within these companies but thousands of others that this system facilitates that allows them to commit crimes against other people and because of the manipulations of those in power get away with it.
      The issue in pointing out a specific person, a specific criminal, in this entire fiasco is that the behavior I have written about is so far spread. It runs from the offices of Wall Street investment banks, to the offices of elected officials, all the way into the offices of those whose specific job is to monitor the system for such abuse and bring forth criminal accusations if the situation calls for it.
      So many people are in on this that pointing the finger at a specific person is laughable.

      October 6, 2011 at 2:01 am | Report abuse |
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