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. Jc

    Go ralph nader

    October 6, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. oscar

    This Movement Started in MADRID, SPAIN (15M) and the Arab Spring and grew to NY. Get the facts straight. It has already been global since MAY and the US is so far behind the power curve, I'm amazed we've gotten anything together at all. How needed is this? Very Needed. How American is it?? Not very at all.

    October 7, 2011 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
  3. marc varela

    This movement might called as "We, the People". It might be leaderless but is cohesive and coherent in purpose. It is an amorphous group of people with very diverse persuasions who are bonding together, sharing different life-experiences in an informal form of de-breifing. But definitely, discussions would center on the present time socio-political and economic issues. With the present pressing concerns, it looks like, it is difficult to define their objectives into one.

    I beleive that this gathering will mushroomed and will be a political group to reckoned with.

    October 7, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |

      I don't think that our politicians have any inkling of the frustrations of most un-affluent citizens. When there are so many unemployed and you read about the exhorbitant salaries of the executives of wall street and other major companies and you can't understand why these demonstrations are taking place. Either you have been livining is a cave or you are one of these executives or a politician

      October 8, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Frank Blackstone

    ABOUT TIME , Let The PEOPLE SPEAK OUT , Enough Can MAke A Change ...Every Out Of Work Person in this country should join them

    October 7, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |

      Frank – Not just the unemployed but all those that think they are not being represented.

      October 8, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Frank Blackstone

    IT Is Obvious the coments and remarks from the wealthy and high working class. Erick Cantor calling them a MOB and others in the NEWS Media siting in there Glass Boxes looking down from the High Paid Boxes calling them Criminals for speaking out against the Coruption been going on for Years , Bushes Dirty War and Wall Street put us here in the conditions were living in today ..MORE SHOULD SPEAK OUT AND UNITE FOR THIS GATHERING OF THE PEOPLE ..

    October 7, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Old Dude

    TEST.Looks like the Eric Cantor is getting concerned that us unwashed, little people are getting to big for our britches we need to be kept in our places.

    October 8, 2011 at 6:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Teepawol

      You are in your place, and many more will come toyour place with you.
      Let them turn on the hoses, let them bring the dogs.

      October 8, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Old Dude

    continued,I wonder if that's what King George was thinking. Funny how they call this an unrully mob and anarchists when all they are displaying are signs,but when tea bags show up displaying weapons,why,they were just peacefull protesters displaying their rights. I fear that the elites will try to squash this because they are being inconvenienced,and they have been so wonderfull and tolerant to have allowed us little people this brief moment to express our anger.I fear they will do something stupid like KENT STATE.I truly hope that they are not that out of touch with reality because, in my oppinion, that would trigger a responce that I shudder to contemplate.This movement is now to big to stop,it may slow down a bit during the winter but,in my oppinion,next summer will truly be the summer of discontent!!

    October 8, 2011 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
  8. Teepawol

    How needed is this? Very Needed. How American is it?? Not very at all.
    Please could you tell me why it is not American to ASSEMBLE and to PROTEST?
    You found it needed but not American. Aren't you contradicting yourself?
    I saw it coming myself long ago.

    October 8, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • chatiecathy7

      I totally agree with Teepawol!!! How can you say it's needed but yet not American??? I too saw this coming a long time ago. I am so happy to see it has finally spreading and gaining speed. I live in a very poor town now, however it wasn't always. This town was a great place for jobs and plenty of them. Then came the outsourcing. Little by little people disappeared and now all is left is poverty. Only those who are connected to big business and Wall Street live in upper class, high class neighborhoods. I just hope this movement continues until our voices are heard and action is taken. Lets take back our country, stand up and shout it from all cities, states, WE ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT! WE ARE SICK OF IT! and the more voices and more demonstrations will get the attention of those who need to hear.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mike mathwig

    Why not bring back the limited charter? It used to be that corporations had to appear before a board to demonstrate that,during their allowed charter period, they had demonstrated good will and service to the community, fair worker comp and such, in order to be allowed to receive another renewal of charter. If they did not please the public the charter was canceled/out of business/caputo/zip. I'd like to see an option there for worker ownership of the business at that point. Give them a chance at it then. This would give a different drum beat to corporate pace and DIRECTION.

    October 8, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. andelige

    Erin Burnett, so, U can't see what is going on USA politics and economy? Seriously? Ur frivolous point of view makes me think: seriously.

    October 9, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Matt Evans

    Over 1200 marched Saturday the 8th in Indianapolis. We are currently occupying the south lawn of the statehouse in Indy. This is growing not letting up. The discussions are real and happening! We are all humans looking to a brighter future!

    October 9, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. James Sherman

    tell Oboma that we want him to keep his word and give us the change he promised and stop worrying about next term . because there is no next term for him!!!!!!!!!! Man up and put his foot down and just do what he promise us he would in the first place, or make an example and impeach him get someone with some balls.

    October 10, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  13. Gadema K. Quoquoi





    October 10, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Gamechanger

    Who am I? I am a Ninety Niner. You call me lazy, and a free loader, and a communist. I am none of these. Who am I? I am the teacher who mentors your children.

    I am the police officer who works the graveyard shift to protect your home in the dark of night. I am the solider who endures hardships far from home to ensure you and your family can enjoy the promise that America offers. I am the American worker who works 3 jobs to support my family in pursuit of the American dream.

    What do I want? I don’t want a hand out or welfare. I only ask for fairness and a fighting chance. I want to understand why my fellow teachers are being fired to fund tax cuts for companies who are enjoying record profits and paying the lowest taxes in 3 generations. I want an explanation as to how 10,000 HP workers can be laid off so that the HP board can give a $10,000,000 bonus to a CEO they fired. I expect a justification why our soldiers come home to find their jobs have been shipped overseas so that corporate chiefs can reap multi-million dollar bonuses.

    Who am I? I am a Ninety Niner and I have worked hard, played by the rules and done my part for America. I am your neighbor, your fellow American, and I refuse to sit quietly by why the rich get obscenely rich while my family and friends suffer. I am a Ninety Niner and I ask you to stand with me and support the once great middle class of America. Together, we can make America great once more – for all of us

    October 10, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Afterword

    Big money has been packing its bags and sending them overseas for years now (jobs, invetments,ect.) It will leave soon. There are greener pastures in China, India and Brazil.

    America needs big money – but big money no longer needs America.

    It is too late for protests.

    October 10, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
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