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. Angie

    Most people sacrifice, study and work hard. These people just seem to want hand outs by the government, ie, by us, the taxpayers. Perhaps all they need to do is take a shower, clean up and find a job.

    October 5, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scratcher

      Perhaps there needs to be less of judging a book by it's cover. I work hard and am a victim of Wall St. Most likely, you are too and just don't know it.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • miami

      Where did you here they just want hand outs? You probably think they are all on food stamps to. Perhaps you need the shower and to clean up yourself.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesse

      Im sorry that your lost...... We are the people that scrifice, study and work hard... We work and work and get more and more in debt because of the capitalism of this country. You will one day learn your wrong and have been taken advantage of by these I1% of the people. They want you to think your going to become rich from worki.g hard and studyi.g and so on but it just doesnt happen.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • RaKa

      We are watching greedy people protest greedy companies. Unions and movie stars who are part of the 1% are protesting the 1%. This is the funniest thing on the internet. I hope it goes viral. lol.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • letsrock

      Fair enough what about the growing numbers of 18-25 that have done that hard work and still can't find a job. What about all the call centers being shipped overseas for capital gains . You better wake up soon and realize if the middle and lower class dont find jobs soon then many ppl like yourself will be out of jobs due to the fact that purchasing power to keep will be deminished

      October 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Clearly you were not even reading the article if this is your reply. Perhaps you think that everyone is just a bunch of dirty hippies or something. It's also possible that you've had your head in a hole for the last few years. It has less to do with handouts and more to do with how screwed up everything has become as a result of greed. That needs to change. There is only so far you can go an greed before everything collapses because there is nothing left to take. And if you can't see that, you really have had your head in a hole.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barry Osama

      Jesse, you are in debt because you choose to be in debt. You are not in debt because of capitalism. You are in debt because of your own greed. You have made choices to borrow and spend beyond your means. The largest demographic of this AstroTurf movement are disenchanted college kids who bought the lie hook, line, and sinker that in order to be successful you HAVE to go to college. I'm rich and successful without a college degree. It doesn't mean I'm not educated though.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ness1

      Yes, it's only the protesters that want handouts... what about Wall Street getting the biggest bailout in history, to the tune of 789 BILLION dollars? TAX DOLLARS! Why can't we bail out the protesters then? Wall street should have failed, after all, that's what capitalism is all about.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Will

      I agree to Barry. College students don't need to go into debt. I could have chosen $55,000 a year at University of Texas, or a free education at University of Alabama. I was smart and chose it for free. Everyone else thinks that they need to pay that 50 grand to go to Harvard, where as I can still get the same degree and pay as someone who went to a top tier university.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesse

      Barry,

      Im in debt because from a young age it was ingrained that you had to go to college to be something yes... Its not greed to support your family so im lost and saddend that you feel this way for your fellow amaericans struggling to find the way. Im happy that you found the way and are and happy as you say but it doeant account for the tons of people that are being taken advantage of for just trying to survive and raise a family. Maybe if you were not so selfrightious you would understand this.... Im sad for you and im sad for how you think you need to feel towards a person like me that just wants to live.....

      October 5, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • KenneyP of Colorado

      Have you ever thought these protester were not just looking for FREE money but wanted to keep the money they EARN. They realize that a stock investment manager making huge profits while the stocks they are entrusted to manage suffer huge losses meanwhile our own government affords them a MUCH lower tax rate than the average working stiff.

      American government is always claiming to encourage free democracy around the world. Well possibly here it is the next American revolution!

      October 5, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  2. KC

    I’m a disenchanted capitalist who recently regurgitated all of its forced fed idealism. After I purged this Mr. Hyde I saw Dr. Jekyll for what it actually stood for. I realized what America stood. I realized that America and capitalism don’t work together. I believe America’s founding fathers wanted this country to stand for the same qualities that we see in our comic book superheroes. Maybe that’s why these types of movies are popular, because we see these qualities disappearing from our everyday lives. We see our past generation’s selflessness replaced with greed. We see doing what’s right replaced with doing it for the right price. We now see united we stand, but only if we’re in the same tax bracket. We see ‘for the people, by the people’ changed to ‘paid for by corporations with the most cash.’ America doesn’t stand for capitalizing on the needs of people. America doesn’t stand for the bottom line on things like education, health care, food, and housing. America stands for “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    I’m part of the 99% and I will stand up. Occupy everywhere.

    October 5, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Barry Osama

    Why is it that tea party protests, sometimes numbering in the thousands, never have claims of police brutality and never have any arrests?

    October 5, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • diana

      it shows you what side the law is on. the law passed by the same rich people we're pressing for accountability.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. golfqueen

    people have no hope of jobs and the greedy ones with their bush tax breaks create jobs overseas, wallstreet trying take more one those who are hurting makes me sick. keep up the protesting what the hell is left when you had the screws put you by losing everything.

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

    I wish I could figure out exactly what the goal is here and how it is to be accomplished. It just looks like a way for people to vent frustration so far.

    October 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Thomas

    Must be nice not to have to go to work – do these folks have government jobs? Must be using sick days.

    October 5, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. malibu

    I'm Canadian and I fully support what the people are doing in the US. Its not only your government but also Canada's government that has brought this all on. For all the bloggers on here stating that they dont understand why people are doing this you really need to get your head out of the sand. There is no longer "middle class" families why you ask ? Its because everytime the big guys f–ck up we the average people have to pay for it thru higher taxes, less funding for our kids schooling, less medical benefits etc....but the corp big wigs are still bringing home major bacon at the end of the day. I'v been working since I was 16 years old and (yes I have an education) seems like as each month passes it gets harder to make ends meet, I live within my means and still live pay to pay due to the fact that it now cost a fortune to purchase even the basis needs since our goverments seem to think that the averages persons pockets have endless amounts of cash in them. We too are sick and tired and being the ones to pay things that we never asked for nor created. I say its time to do whatever it is we need to do to survive even if that means people protesting. As for the other bloggers on here who say "get a life" well that's what we are trying to do you idiots, maybe you need to take a look around you rather than sitting back counting all your money and drinking your 6 dollar latte while your secreatary is on her knees under your desks.

    October 5, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kemuel

    They are trying to prove that big businesses are greedy, businesses don't care about the well being of the consumer (YOU AND ME). I'd say be more open minded than start saying that they are after our taxpayer money, stop being so darn proud of the taxes you pay for, many of these probably are just like some of you pointing fingers.

    October 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • RaKa

      Greedy people protesting greedy companies. This is the funniest protest liberals have come up with yet. lol

      October 5, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Will

    How about instead of protesting, you find a bloody job. Those three weeks you spent sleeping on the street, protesting, and being an unproductive citizen could have gone to you finding a job. So you idiots were getting arrested while someone smarter than you just took a job that you could have had. Oh well, it's the survival of the fittest. These people participating in "Occupy Wall Street" think that everything should be handed to them, and that it's someone else's fault that they don't have a job. Reality check people. You can make your own success, just like the people on Wall Street. The difference between you and them is that they work wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy harder to get in that position. You just think that you should get it for free.

    October 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hoofleau

      Your comment reflects the single mindedness of yourself. You are one of the lost and forgotten.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Will

      Uhh no. You are, however, one of the crazies.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hoofleau

      PS: There are people in this protest that are gainfully employed. You've just lost focus on the situation at hand. Got greed?

      October 5, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Huh?

      Are you kidding us??? The only reason why these Wall St. heroes of yours have jobs at all is because we, the TAXPAYERS, payed for the bailout of their companies to stay afloat after their complete ineptness should have put them all out of business. Wow! Keep on watching Fox. It's obvioulsy been a great hallucinogen for you.

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

      Lol will, ur a bloody idiot.....

      How about you go out and say that face to face to a protester lol I bet you would then have.a better understanding hahaha tool

      October 5, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Thomas

    All this "open meeting" and "group conscious" stuff will be paraded about until election day at which point the speakers will be rolled out and the booming voice will begin dictating who to vote for.

    October 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Hoofleau

    Good news...go for it. Hope the movement spreads out so we can all participate. Peace-no violence!

    October 5, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Lost

    Anyone else feel lost and not sure what to do with there life right now? Would love a job and purpose in life.

    October 5, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mikeonthebay

    Obama and his socialist/marxist/progressive/liberal policies have failed just as they have failed everywhere else "fair share" economies have been tried. Nobody is going to work hard and produce if the government steals it away and hands it over to the looters in our society. Most of these drones are bought and paid for by the obama administration or one of its associated goon squads, in an effort to keep Obama the dunce in office

    October 5, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kenneth Long

    I wonder how many public employees are actually taking sick/vacation days to protest? Those of us who work in the real world, pay taxes and buy health insurance don't have time for this silliness.

    October 5, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Kenneth Long: Public employees pay taxes, buy health insurance, and have the same time restrictions you do (unless you are saying you have zero sick/vacation days a year). I'm not really sure what you're talking about when you imply that they don't pay the same taxes and health insurance that you do.

      I know a lot of public employees. None of the mare in this protest.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jesse

    The only thing that scares the 1% is us the 99%..... We have.the vote and can control the vote as long as we understand that we can be stronger than the 1%.

    They want us to think we can become part of the 1% one day but we will not..... But we can stand up and tell the 1% that we all want and deserve a slice of the pie.

    I work, have a degree, im married and have a child so the people that think we are all hippies are blinded by some false hope that they will one day be the 1%..... And thats just what they need you to believe so the world wont change.... We are going to change one way or another

    October 5, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Republocrat

      Their is a problem with non Democrat/Republican candidates getting exposure. These people control the media and give a soapbox to anyone with a D or R next to their names but completely blackout anyone who is not part of the club. We need a new party that works for us. Hell we need 3 new parties anything to get rid of these corrupt crony capitalists we have now. All of them need to go.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • jean2009

      Thank you for stating simple facts. Everyone thinks they are going to win the lottery, the odds of which is greater than the odds for being hit by a meteor. The rich working Wall Street with their automated trading systems have no intention of letting everyone have a slice of the pie.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
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