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. Sir Hugo Drax

    You know what I would do.

    October 5, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lee

    Why aren't they in D.C. protesting????? The buck stops there.

    October 5, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dan

    Adbusters = al-Qaeda in Canada.

    October 5, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tumorski

      Fortunately, you're an idiot.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Serena Neely

    Come on guys. The protest needs to be in Washington. That's where all this started.

    October 5, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Don Julio

    I am employed. I have fat stacks of cash, noneof which was stolen or inherited. I educated myself without going into debt, and got there competing with others who wanted the same.

    I am the 1%. Go occupy yourselves.

    October 5, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Schwendler

      The 9.5%, at a minimum, that are unemployed and, have no hope of finding a job, were just like you, until corporate greed on Wall St. and the banking industry took it all. Wake up and start thinking about others for a change.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      I am employed, very educated with several degrees, never won lottery or inherited anything, raised kids, help others, and right now I don't have any cash in my bank accounts, around 1K in medical bills and around 20K in debth only for the first year in a college for my daughter, 3K for the car loan and little money in 401K... Welcome to my world...

      October 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don Julio

      Yeah, well if you didn't have the money to send your daughter to college you shouldn't have. Or maybe your daughter would have learned your values if she'd had to work her own way through college.

      You people act as if certain things are a right – Medical care, advanced education, transportation, and even jobs when they're not! They're rewards for personal effort and sacrifice...For making sound financial decisions and for working hard.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mich1974

    "Go"

    Through the dustbowl
    Through the debt
    Grandma was a suffragette
    Blacklisted for her publication
    Blacklisted for my generation
    Go go go

    Raise your hands
    Raise your hands high
    Don't take a seat
    Don't stand aside
    This time don't assume anything
    Just go go go

    Feed the fire
    Fan the flame
    I know you kids can stand the rain
    I know the kids are still upsetters
    'Cause rock is cool but the struggle is better
    Go go go

    Raise your hands
    Raise your hands high
    Don't take a seat
    Don't stand aside
    This time don't assume anything
    Just go go go

    Did they tell you it was set in stone
    That you'd end up alone
    Use your years to psyche you out
    You're too old to care
    You're too young to count

    Did they tell you, you would come undone
    When you try to touch the sun
    Undermine the underground
    You're too old to care
    You're too young to count

    Go go go

    October 5, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. NonZionist

    / / / Just as the body needs an organ that circulates the blood, the economy needs a mechanism that circulates the wealth. When the economy lacks such a mechanism, wealth and power concentrates in one place - the top. The bottom 99% then become too poor to buy the goods on the shelves. The collapse of demand causes a collapse in production, more unemployment, and a further decline in demand. This tailspin is fatal for the economy, just as the absence of a heart would be fatal for the body.

    / / / If we can agree that this upwards redistribution and concentration of wealth is the problem, then we can suggest solutions.

    / / / My suggestion is a universal fixed-rate sales tax supplemented by a universal fixed-amount rebate. The fixed rebate would make the sales tax progressive. E.g., The poor man who receives $10,000 benefits far more than the rich man who receives the same amount. Because the tax and the rebate would be universal, they would be non-intrusive: no loop-holes, no involvement by politicians.

    / / / Of course, we should also reduce spending:

    / * by shutting down the military empire,
    / * by nationalizing the misnamed "Fed",
    / * by ending Bush's "Medicare Part D" racket,
    / * by adopting a single-payer healthcare system,
    / * by letting the Pentagon handle homeland security

    October 5, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • mehmet.cas

      bingo !!!

      October 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Hangtownie

    Not regulating business and banking is like putting the fox in charge of the hen house. Bad thing will happen.

    October 5, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Laura

    Correct, as long as we have issues with honesty, we must have strong regulations, so greed will never again destroy not only our, but the world economy. We definitely need to switch from the gambling type economy to the more solid one.

    October 5, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. drstanley

    Power To The People!!!
    Down With The Greedy Pigs!!!
    Hang 'em high!!!

    October 5, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Pat

    this is likely to be only the tip of the iceberg! It is time to tend the fires at home or we too might experience an upraising . . . Perhaps we should request NATO to establish a no fly zone . . . Of course only to save lives....

    October 5, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kenneth Long

      I believe in the Second Amendment. My AR-15 holds 33 rounds in the magazine, my Sig holds 15 plus one in the chamber. I'm ready.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. naturesmeds

    we are THE 99% (poorest in U.S.) who DEMAND that the top 1% have no more than 1% of the resources (personally, i do not believe this can be achieved without occupation of wall st. and the federal reserve)

    October 5, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • bob324

      your math suggests that everyone get an equal share regardless of how much they put in/deserve. that makes people unproductive, why wouldnt anyone try if the person next to them is working half as hard and getting the same income

      October 5, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kenneth Long

    Get to work you lazy dolts; the have nots have not because they work not. I am a "have." I went to a lot of school, borrowed a ton of money, spent six years building houses to pay off all the money borrowed, and still work twelve hour days.

    October 5, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesse

      Your the people the 1% love hahaha think you will have one day and keep paying to the rich..... Your an idiot and your lost.... The 1% doesnt work for there money and thats the point you tool

      October 5, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • OK...

      Good for you.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don Julio

      Amen brother. 🙂 Deep down, they know they're responsible for their own failure – It just *feels* better to blame others.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cosmos42

      No, you're a tool, because you have fooled yourself into believing that the stupefying amount of work you had to do to stay afloat is perfectly reasonable and not at all a consequence of the system being stacked against you.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don Julio

      OMFG, it's unbelievable – The "stupefying amount of work?" Really? Listen to yourselves...

      That's what life is – Work. Everything you have, everything you own, every service that is provided to you, every advance in medicine, every hamburger you eat was the result of a stupefying amount of work. It's what makes the world go round.

      As an evolutionist, I weep at how civilization has raised the lowest common denominator to be a peer with the highest. Civilization is what has allowed you leeches, you unmitigated mooches and layabouts to demand a share of the sweat of my brow or that of any other honest, hard working person.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cosmos42

      I don't normally bother replying to a reply, but I think it is you who should start listening to yourself.

      "Evolutionism" isn't a philosophy, because evolution is a mathematical consequence of independent organisms competing for resources in an environment with real scarcity. Humans are not independent of each other, and therefore it is not evolution when humans screw each other over so they can buy themselves yachts. Civilization is in fact a product of evolution and not contrary to it in any way, because historically those groups of humans who better cooperated with each other were the ones who survived. In contrast, groups in which members acted selfishly are the ones that were 'weeded out' by natural selection. Thus, morality, selflessness, and charity are products of evolution.

      I hate to burst your Objectivist bubble, but there is a reason Ayn Rand died alone.

      October 5, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rino VT

      I'm 68 and still working hard. I've worked hard all my life, but I recognize better today that others can have their lives decimated out of the blue. Most of the umemployed lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Luckily you haven't been hit by a bus, luckily you haven't contracted some expensive disease. Luckily you haven't lost everything in a flood like a lot of people around me have. The world does not consist of hard working conservatives and lazy liberals, except in your mind.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cogito

      Well said, Rino VT...

      October 5, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. US Citizen

    Why have public unions join the protests?
    They are a lot of the government problem.
    Piggish pensions and no accountability for failures of serving the paying customers.

    October 5, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Light In The Black

    The revolution "will" be televised.

    October 5, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • RaKa

      This is a revolution? Ur funny. CNN will move on and then your revolution dies. Liberals don't protest where there is no camera. lol.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesse

      Will,

      I understand what your saying but some of us do not get the choice of college for free.... Its all about money now with school in this country and not about actual education. I had to take many classes that had nothing to do with a career or really anything but they were required so after 30000 a year at a normal college we are in debt.

      Instead of attacking people for having to pay for college just be thankful that you are blessed one way or another.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
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