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. disjustin


    October 5, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. God

    Funny, I haven't seen one Racist or watermelon sign in any of these protestor's hands...

    October 5, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bxgrrl

    It's a beautiful thing.

    October 5, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • ThinkLessDoMore

      sniff, sniff... yes it is.

      October 5, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lardeau

    I hope that leaders show up soon before the newness and the momentum die. They DO have a point to make and they DO represent a potentially big force.

    October 5, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio)

    Circle of trust –>Communism –>Liberals–>Some labor unions–>Occupy Walstreet–>Demoocrats–>55 gal. drum of Vaseline<–B.H.O.

    October 5, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mark Bernadiner

    This is a gang of lazy idiots who have nothing to do, have no brain and knowledge, only big stupid mouth. They also love free lunchs.

    October 5, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • ryan

      I would love to see your tie get caught in a garbage disposal.

      October 5, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Voltairine

    See, "Capitalism Hits the Fan", by Prof. of Economics, Richard Wolff, PhD, which can be found on youtube; the Professor doesn't actually start his talk until 7:00. It is not opinion. It is cold hard facts that support why we should all be protesting and resisting with Occupy Wall St.

    October 5, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Tom

    These nuts who don't even know what they want are celebrated in the media. But when people get together to and go to town hall meetings to protest obamacare, are branded, violent, extreme and unpatriotic. In addition, when people get together to protest taxes and liberaliam, they are branded as bigots and racist.
    The liberal media is full of crap!

    October 5, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • frayedcat

      nah – them tea partiers just need to work on their people skills, develop a sense of humor, acquire some depth and class, replace the pale polyester and bermudas, and rename their movement the Whiskey Rebellion Party – then they'll do just fine.

      October 5, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tyler

      Why are you opposed to everyone having access to healthcare? It doesnt make you violent..just evil. People call you a bigot for wanting the poor to pay more taxes than the rich....also kind of evil. They call you racist for protesting policies that would help people because the person who drafted it was black...that IS racist

      October 6, 2011 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  9. RaKa

    The unions getting involved have ruined the credibility.

    October 5, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Faceless

    A Million More
    Back breaking labor I endure every day to fill my purse.
    A subordinate life not one I choose a hatred of the man that I answer too.
    Disposable man that's all I am and there's a million more to fill the shoes I stand.
    The American dream skipped me it seems pointless by design a story with no theme.
    There's a million more just like me disenchanted unenthused.
    Overlooked in the mindless shuffle to make way for something new.
    I'm a face without a name I'm a man without a place
    after a lifetime of my loyalty on a whim to be replaced.
    27, Ivy League CEO with his job bought and paid for by his family's tow.
    Bred to believe that he's above the rest
    while the sweat from my back is clearing his checks.
    A factory floor filled with human machines for minimum wage we sacrifice our dreams.
    And while supply of this labor exceeds demand
    the room for this injustice will only expand.
    Disregard my sacrifice push me out in the cold.
    Move my job south of the border while my family pays the toll.
    I have silenced my contempt I've restrained my bitter rage
    and now I choke to death on the words I didn't say.
    – Zero Down

    October 5, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. chris

    I know I'll get slammed by making this comment but to me it's a sign that too many people have lost faith in themselves and depending more and more on government. They have some good points to get to the front page but that was the first thought that came to me. I'm self- employeed and have every reason to complain, but I get up each day and trust myself over government and I think I'm a little happier than many of these folks, ( even though it looks like their better off than I am.)

    October 5, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ashley

      This has nothing to do with depending on the government!! This has to do with our banking system being corrupt and stealing from the average (99%) Americans while the top 1% get millions in "bonuses" because they broke the system. Who gets bailed out with our tax money? The banks and Wall St! Something has to give!! No one wants a handout, they just want to expose the greed that is taking over our country and our government. Our government has been bought and sold to the highest bidder! We are now slaves to a system that no longer works for the majority of the people. Wake up!

      October 5, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. GAB

    I see this going on and I dont understand why. What these people want cant be provided, as they call for employment for everyone who can work, wages whether or not that your employed, fully insured from birth, taxing big bussiness for a nearly encompassing amout in percentage each year, ect. My question is how will we be employed after these changes are made? Many bussinesses will leave or fold, so the government will have to employ us, since the government only survives off of taxes and government loans, we therefore must pickup the taxes and since we cant afford it then it must then fail. What about enacting taxes on all unions, both state and private, since they have full tax exemption in our current law. Our recsources are limited, and we can never have all we want. Perhaps they should ralley for freedom to persure what we want. I want to start a bussiness where I live but current laws say I have to have 10,000$ in the bank under the name of the company before I file for the creation of the company. I'm 28 years old and married living in IL. Would someone take my case and call for de-regulation for bussiness and freedom to do what I want? Perhaps if my idea becomes big I could hire people which I want to do, but it is out of my reach as the government keeps me at distance from reaching it. I hope it will change in the future, to have more freedom!

    October 5, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • ryan

      You're not even close to having a solution. Go get your PHD.

      October 5, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. rational

    This is not a Right vs Left, Republican vs Democrat fight. This affects EVERY American. Saying that there are only "stinking liberals" moaning about taxing the rich is as ignorant as it is inane. There are as many TRUE conservatives there. Watch this video if you are confused on the purpose and message of the Occupy Wallstreet movement. This man even endorses a republican for president:

    October 5, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Pachecosita

    yes! revolution is here...we the 99% are tired of being abused by the big corporations that are taking over our country...NO MORE

    October 5, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • parentof6

      Whatever! Get in line for your government cheese.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ashley

      Parentof6-No one wants a government handout! You obviously don't get what is going on. Go back to sleep! Do some freaking research into the banking system and what is really happening in America right now. Since you claim you are a parent, what will this country be like once your kids are grown up? I guess if you are part of the privileged 1% then I guess they will be okay but if not, you should be worried.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Why?

    We don't know why were doing this, but golly we're angry that someone is using their rights in a capitalist country to work hard and make money under the confines of the law. Instead of picketing, try competing, try reinventing yourself to get where you want to be. Try working instead of whining...

    October 5, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Uuum, is your comment to the protesters or the CEO's with the golden parachutes?

      October 5, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred Safford

      Because wall street did not do it on hard work, they did it on scams, being to big to fail, and on taxpayer money.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jenny

      Corporations shouldn't have rights like we do, they aren't people. It's not like anyone is protesting local small business owners, you know? They are protesting financial BEHEMOTHS that have been bailed out and reported record profits while a majority of Americans don't have the financial freedom to exercise their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. C'mon. I live in the South, a paragon of deregulation...trust me, it sucks. Have you ever been to the Delta? Go out and work and stop whining you say? How can you go out and work when there are literally NO jobs (or hospitals, or supermarkets, or libraries.).I say rein these busters in and make them pay their fair share!

      October 5, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • frank

      anyone with <$10M should have it confiscated and the excess distributed to the poor.

      October 5, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
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