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. CNN thinks you're all stupid!

    Pay extra close attention to how CNN twists the facts about this protest, if they report on it at all. They'll glorify the Arab Spring, but I guarantee you won't get accurate information about this. Come on CNN! You broadcasted about the uprisings everywhere else for like a week straight, but now that it's happening here you have nothing to report huh?

    October 6, 2011 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
    • .

      They reported on it yesterday.

      October 6, 2011 at 3:30 am | Report abuse |
    • CNN thinks you're all stupid!

      Oh yeah! They reported the hell out of it huh? CNN plays all day long at my job. I watch it roughly 10 hours a day, and they barely mentioned it. They were reporting about Amanda Knox and the Michael Jackson crap all day. Who are you trying to fool? I bet you work for CNN, don’t you?

      October 6, 2011 at 4:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Mustang

      This is NOTHING like the Arab Spring. This is the generic progressive student protest that shows up at everything from G6 conferences to anti-war protests. If anything, they are comparable to the Tea Party.

      Chai Party, anyone?

      October 6, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mustang

      er, G8, even. I blame that dumb song...

      October 6, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. kishka

    What a worthless piece of "journalism". I took my cable TV box back today, so I do not watch this garbage any more. CNN, you are bought and sold many times over. You are the part of the problem.
    The movement demands to end the fed, return to sound money, get the money and big corporations out of our government, regulate the Wall street, etc. But you can't admit this – you are in bed with big corporations (like Monsanto – the prime evil amongst big corporations) and big government – they pay you big bucks, so you are bought. You work for them and treat people like bunch of morons.
    And who cares what the world will think about America??? Wake up people, the world is not stupid. they know it's too late – America is bankrobbed. TOO LATE for this charade, America. Nobody wants your stinking fiat dollars! Too late! Reclaim America or go down as a slave!

    October 6, 2011 at 2:57 am | Report abuse |
  3. George

    America becomes Socialist Country !

    October 6, 2011 at 2:59 am | Report abuse |
  4. Vex

    gee thanks CNN, it's about fvkkin time you r3tards stopped yer bvllshi7 media blackout... this is exactly what they meant when they sed "the revolution will not be televised"

    October 6, 2011 at 3:00 am | Report abuse |
  5. Orion

    Audit the Fed. End the Fed. Fed up? That's what that means. Level the field of campaign finance, corporations held to the same as ordinary citizens. Close the revolving door between wallstreet an government by allowing congress to appoint the treasury secretary, and return the power of currency and credit to congress. Clear criminal activity from the financial sector needs to be punished by federal jury trial period, no more waiting, no more bailout. End the ability of government servants in all branches and beaurocracies to exempt themselves and cooperations from the laws and regulations held to the average citizen of this country. Anti crony-monopolism is the cause

    October 6, 2011 at 3:03 am | Report abuse |
    • kishka

      Right on!

      October 6, 2011 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
  6. John Starnes

    That condescending bit of fluff overlooks the fact that the Fed bailout was 16 TRILLION dollars that the public did NOT make a profit on. CNN should be ashamed to air this so called "reporter".

    October 6, 2011 at 3:04 am | Report abuse |
    • kishka

      Totally agree with you. But hey, we are wasting our time here. Let's go join the protesters.

      October 6, 2011 at 3:06 am | Report abuse |
  7. kishka

    I am Jack's Smirking Revenge! I've been watching this crime against the people of America, the people of the world, and the environment going on for years now. Greed rules, but no longer. We either evolve or we die.

    October 6, 2011 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
  8. Onwthn

    I think only CNN reporters are commenting on this no one saying you can't be wealthy or you can't buy the stuff you want we're just saying if all business didn't get tax breaks we wouldn't be in debt

    October 6, 2011 at 3:06 am | Report abuse |
  9. uriah

    Jhn 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

    Jhn 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life.

    Jhn 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

    Jhn 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

    Jhn 6:32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.

    October 6, 2011 at 3:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Chucky McLovin

      Jesus was an evil cult leader that required his followers to hate their families and hate themselves (Luke 14:26).

      Jesus didn't want peace on Earth but instead violence; Jesus wanted a man's family to be his enemies (Matthew 10:34-36).

      People that believe the bible are delusional idiots because they believe evil Bronze Age mythology.

      October 6, 2011 at 4:41 am | Report abuse |
  10. V

    V for Vendetta explain everything

    October 6, 2011 at 3:29 am | Report abuse |
    • V

      Be carful who you troll please. Good movie though. 😉

      October 6, 2011 at 4:10 am | Report abuse |
    • V

      .....and keep up the fight kishka!

      October 6, 2011 at 4:16 am | Report abuse |
  11. Ronald

    These people need an agenda to harness their power. What is the action plan? In all other countries, these protests are long forgotten unless they turn to violence.

    October 6, 2011 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
  12. Glaziers930

    Adam and jim wieks you are both cowards.Why don't you let someone reply to your useless points.I ask you who pushed the loans to creat the hedge funds.Who tweeked the paper work,who approved loans they new would never get paid off.Bankers like you to.

    October 6, 2011 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  13. John

    POLITICS – ISSUES WALL STREET

    1. END CORPORATE WELFARE!
    2. End corporate personhood
    3. Reinstate Glass-Steagall
    4. Ban flash trading
    5. Robin Hood tax
    6. A hedge fund billionaire must pay at least the same proportion of income in taxes as his secretary, not less
    7. Full Transparency between money and politicians
    8. FULL DISCLOSURE OF ALL FINANCIAL "CONTRIBUTIONS"
    9. Start investigating and prosecuting Wall Street for fraud and financial crimes etc.
    10. Stop the Wars. We can not afford it as it has already cost us $4 TRILLIONS
    11. Stop wasting $700 BILLIONS per year on military spending
    12. Conduct a full audit of Federal Reserve
    13. Stop the Big Brother society, illegal wiretappings etc.
    14. Impose full Transparency in politics, business, banks. Who gets money, "contributions", baiil-outs? and how is this money spent etc.
    15. Stop the insane system of socialised losses and Privatised Gains for banks
    16. All corporations have to pay taxes on their profits not just small and medium sized companies.
    17. Break-up Goldman Sachs. It's to powerful.
    18. Get rid of Goldman Sachs ex-employers in the administration
    19. Get rid of former President Clinton advisors & Tim Geithner and put in people who fight for the 99%.
    20. Stop paying attention to what 0.1% wants and focus all the attention on the 99.9%
    21 If you break it you pay for it. Make BP and others pay the full -costs for their oil spills.
    22. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty in court..... We can not jail people indefinitely without any evidence or a trial. That's not the kind of society we should strive to become.
    23. If we really have a democracy politicians must listen and do what the majority wants and needs.
    24. Kick Big Business and special Interests out of Politics

    25. Student Loan Amnesty. The common experience of many of the protesters is that of being crushed by an outrageous burden of high interest student loans for the rest of their lives.

    26. Stop Foreclosures. In the area of home foreclosures, the bankers have trampled on the law to seize millions of homes, some of which never had a mortgage, and many of which were current in their payments. The banks have used corrupt robo-signers, robo-cops, and robo-judges to carry out these fraudclosure thefts. The answer is to make foreclosure a federal crime, so that anyone who throws an American family out on the street will end up in Leavenworth. Under the New Deal, the Frazier-Lemke Act stopped all foreclosures on homes, provided only that the owners could get a minimal payment plan approved by any judge in any court. With the help of popular pressure and public opinion, foreclosures virtually came to a halt. This is what we need to be demanding today.

    27. Defend and fully fund the social safety net. Wall Street and Washington elites agree that the American people ought to be subjected to extreme austerity – cuts so draconian that they will kill people.

    ...

    October 6, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. NothingBut

    75.1% of enlisted recruits in the US military come from families with household income less than $65,032 per year. 25% from $65k to $250k. Those from ultra-rich household incomes over $250,000 per year are

    close to 0%. So the military is composed of almost 100% troops from middle-class or lower demographics. The heritage foundation reports are misleading by what they describe as middle and upper class. The

    children of the ultra-rich corporate interests that run this country and the children of the republican politicians they pay for do not die in anywhere close to the numbers of the children of the middle-

    class who die in our wars, fighting for the ultra-rich corporate interests to commit mortgage fraud, etc, and not get prosecuted. Vote for Democrats, like Obama, or the middle-class is doomed.

    October 6, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  15. NothingBut

    John Boehner, the republican speaker of the house, has said that his main goal is to beat Obama. His main goal then is not what's best for this country. Boehner and the republican party are hurting

    everyone in the country except for the ultra-rich corporate interests by starting 13 months before the next election to run a smear campaign against the President and make it look like it is his fault that

    things don't get better for the rest of us. It's dirty politics and we the people should be smart enough to see what boehner and the republicans are doing. It is very bad for everyone except for the

    ultra-rich corporate interests. Goldman Sachs is one of boehner's main financial contributors. Golman Sachs is one of the main corporations responsible for the criminal "mortgage fraud" that cost us all a

    lot of money.

    October 6, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      You think these protests are a smear campaign orchestrated by Boehner? Trust me; Obama doesn't need any help ruining his good Irish, Hawaiian, Kenyan name. You think that re-electing Obama is the answer to all of our problems? What, do you live under a rock?

      October 6, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
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