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. retrostar1000

    I support this movement, but I am waiting to see how long this lasts when the New York winter comes.

    October 5, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • TOMMAS

      Winter can't come soon enough!

      October 5, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • BrightLight

      Think about a restaurant with bad service where people don't work very fast or deliver your food. Would you keep going? Well since the USA is bankrupt it needs to keep new money arriving for goods and services, it needs economic stability to receive these investments. Other countries will stop investing in the USA if they think there is to much social problems. Well now that will hurt the USA more than any other thing could right now in history.

      October 6, 2011 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
    • BrightLight

      PS I think it is great people have a voice but the 99% should go back to sleep because Wall Street and the Bright Light Brains of America are doing everything possible to save it from going under into the worst recession in history. So is the President. Now the unions have always pushed and bullied, fought for money and no they will have a tug of war for money and these demonstrations in large scale would or could usually bully wall street to giving in lets say .005% but since there is no money Wall Street will not give in and the unions will loose, and America will loose more because of what they are trying to pull off. IT IS CLEAR AND SIMPLE THERE IS NO MONEY.

      October 6, 2011 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Raymond Soto

      It will be the winter of our discontent.

      October 6, 2011 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
    • dclawfd

      If you haven't noticed the occupation has gone nationwide! And it won't stop!

      October 6, 2011 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
  2. TOMMAS

    Ted, the country was broken when greedy people who wanted to keep up with the Jones' signed mortgges for homes they could not afford. The loans were sanctioned and sponsored by the government. Smart people knew they were bad investments, so they were packaged up into toxic investments. When those members of the 99% failed to pay their debts, the loans went bad and investors lost their shirts. No one forced anyone to sign up for those loans. Any high school graduate should have known they could not afford a mansion on a minimum wage income.

    October 5, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • marma

      Really? Unmanaged globalization is what is happening. People could afford a home and then lost their job and then could not. Where did the jobs go? Overseas there is cheaper unchecked labor. The CEOs are here enjoying the afterglow of a once alive economy and can sell their widgets here for now... These protesters know that our country is not sustaining itself and no denying it or blaming it on the people holds water.

      October 5, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • zoglet

      The only "smart' thing about those oppotunist vampires was getting the rest of the US and the world to pick up the bill for their mistakes. It should be them that are losing thier jobs, not the rest of society so that they may continue thier failed capitalist experiments.

      October 6, 2011 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
    • dclawfd

      Tommas stop being a troll and get a life! You really can't be that simple minded!

      October 6, 2011 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
  3. Haydenski

    Wall Street fuels corporate Americas behavior and corporate American fuels Wall Street. 'The Dow" is drilled into our conscience continually as a supposed indicator of the health of the country. This lie needs to be proven false as demonstrated the Dow doing great while the country and the 99% composing the non-filthy-rich are not doing so well. This is a call to BOYCOTT the corporations that compose the Dow. Hit the corporations and Wall Street at the same time.

    These companies are: 3M, Alcoa, American Express, AT&T, Bank of America, Boeing, Caterpillar, Chevron, Cisco, Coca Cola, Dupont, Exxon Mobil, GE, Hewlett Packard, Home Depot, Intel, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase, Kraft, McDonalds, Merck, Microsoft, Pfizer, Proctor & Gamble, Travelers, United Technologies, Verizon, Walmart, Disney.

    Granted, consumer ability to hurt the bottom line of some of these companies is limited, but let's do what we can. We can publish subsidiary and detailed product lists to boycott. Refuse to buy their products, use their services, or shop at their stores until we see some convictions of Wall Street banksters and serious reform to corporate governance. We need to put an end to excessive executive compensation, end closed boards of directors, stop shifting profits offshore to avoid US taxes, end visa abuses to import low cost labor, and outlaw political influence via lobbyists.

    Please spread the word and join the boycott. "BOYCOTT THE DOW"

    October 6, 2011 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
    • nkg0515

      End Union control & they wouldn't bring in "low cost labor"! No one is worth $75. per hour, union or not! UNIONS ARE TOO EXPENSIVE and THAT is why our jobs are GONE!!!!!!

      October 6, 2011 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
  4. Sasha

    http://vimeo.com/29906321
    free video for skilless cnn reporters

    October 6, 2011 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  5. opinionguru

    I applaud any effort to irritate Wall street ... even one sponsored by the elitist trust-funded inane.

    October 6, 2011 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
  6. zoglet

    I just hope the rest of the US stand up and be counted like the people of Greece have the courage to do. The world does not need to be told what to do so that the rich 1 per cent can get out of the mess they created without paying the price. Let democracy work instead of making us all slaves to the unelected and unsought ideological experiments of the far right Chicago school and its practisioners. Why are we being made to pay for their failures?

    October 6, 2011 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  7. justice

    The time has come!
    Imperialism is the eve of the social revolution!

    October 6, 2011 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Christian Wheeler

      Cant wait till you get that "Social Security" check huh?

      October 6, 2011 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
  8. 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 12:40 am | Report abuse |
  9. FrankSD

    This is an interesting development for one specific reason. The biggest difference between the US and Europe, politically speaking, is our lack of an active and effective Left. Its primarily due to the fact that the left in virtually every other democracy is a coalition of labor and youth groups. In the US, those groups have not generally seen eye to eye. But if they continue to coalesce this way, it could be a significant change in the political landscape.

    October 6, 2011 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  10. DMoton

    If you really want to make a point, occupy Capitol Hill.

    October 6, 2011 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
    • dclawfd

      That's next!

      October 6, 2011 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
  11. nkg0515

    Unions are endorsing this? Yeah, salvation is on the way...NOT! Unions are a joke and a BIG part of the problem! To have a union "endorse" something is a slap in the face. Unions are only out for themselves & NOT for the "middle class" that they "claim" to "fight for".

    October 6, 2011 at 1:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Christian Wheeler

      The Union has fought for a fair wage and unfair treatment at the work place. Union members make up the middle class, everybody in this country has the RIGHT to orginize. The union is not a thing it is a collection of individuals who want fair treatment and a fair wage for a days work.

      October 6, 2011 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
  12. brown

    The first step is to purge both the elected and appointed career politicians from Washington, D.C.!

    Washington, D.C. has proven it is not too big to fail !!!

    October 6, 2011 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  13. larry5

    Evidently Obama was surprised to see that there are people out there that don't know that the recession is over and that his legislation is correcting all of Bush's mistakes. They must understand that Fox News picks on him and others use unemployment number to infer that he has not created enough jobs. They don't know that the numbers look a lot better if you consider all the people added to the welfare roles, especially illegals. These people that are out there protesting are just not getting the White House message. They are upset because they are living in the real world, a place that Obama has never seen.

    October 6, 2011 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Chucky McLovin

      There is new video of NYPD white shirts beating protesters earlier tonight. The Huffington Post is doing an outstanding job with their coverage.

      October 6, 2011 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
    • @Chucky

      That's kind of scary! The NYPD better be careful, after all this isn't Libya or Syria, here we have guns too. I have a strong feeling this is going to get ugly. .

      October 6, 2011 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
  14. sapsxy

    ...yyyyyyy.....aaaa.....wwww........nnnnnnn....... 🙂 where's the Alien ?

    October 6, 2011 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
  15. krehator

    The majority rules this country, and it is time the 1% is reminded of it.

    October 6, 2011 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
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