NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A coalition of groups who say they’ve been inspired by the Arab Spring protests against despots abroad is calling for a large, Tahrir Square-like protest right here in New York City. But what their demand will be is not yet clear.

An online group dubbed “Occupy Wall Street” is calling for 20,000 people to “flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months,” according to the website

“Something is going to happen Sept. 17 on Wall Street. What it’s going to be is up to all of us,” said Bill Csapo, who described himself as a volunteer citizen organizer of the event.

Csapo said he is not an official spokesman for the conglomeration of groups.

“Not any more than any of us are,” he said, laughing.

Csapo said he’s focused on making sure there will be enough food, tents and Port-A-Potties at the gathering, if it comes together as organizers hope.

“Once there, we shall incessantly repeat our one simple demand until Barack Obama capitulates,” according to the site.

So what is the demand? Well, apparently that’s TBD and the subject of a Facebook poll.

Csapo said that regardless of whatever the specific demand is, the overall theme of the event will be clear.

“I don’t think anybody that anybody can look at the political and economic landscape we have now in Washington and not come to the conclusion that the system is broken,” Csapo said. “The main focus is the toxic and corrupting effect of unlimited money on the political situation, which would be called a Corporate-ocracy, not Democracy.”

If they don’t have a demand but are going forward with their intention to occupy Wall Street, why do it?

“Because it belongs to us! Because we can!” the group states on its website.

“We need to get government back into the hands of the 99 percent, not the one percent,” Csapo said. “Right now, the law is currently written for the one percent, and we are seeing an incredible amount of wealth being extracted.”

“The aim is getting back to more of a participatory Democracy,” said Csapo.

The Occupy Wall Street website says “We also encourage the use of nonviolence to achieve our ends and maximize the safety of all participants.”

The original call to occupy Wall Street was put out by a group called Adbusters, which describes itself as a “global network of culture jammers and creatives working to change the way information flows, the ways corporations wield power, and the way meaning is produced in our society.”

The hacker/protest group Anonymous has also reportedly thrown its support behind the Sept. 17 protest.

What do you think: Is it a protest for protest’s sake? A social media experiment? Or a genuine expression of something more profound? Sound off in our comments section.

Comments (53)
  1. Derek says:

    In Libya they fought to be free. In the United States, they fight for something-or-other, as long as it’s the most popular option. This is so typically Western. I love that the spokespeople are whining on about how they’ve been hard done by, but aren’t quite sure what it is that they’re so annoyed about.

    1. John McG says:

      There are no spokespeople or leaders. The NYC General Assembly is a direct democracy, that works by reaching consensus, with the help of rotating facilitators. We are working to reach consensus. If you have ideas please come down and speak at the assembly. We want to give a voice to regular people that usually can’t be heard over the corporate lobbyists. We want to help the real middle (not halfway between the Repocrats and the Demublicans) be heard.

  2. Douglas Pepper Lang says:

    Listening to NYC Police Scanners with dispatcher sending cars to “Water & Wall St” but neglecting to mention the purpose. Do not think this event goes un-noticed.

    Powers that be quiver at the thought of a “Arab Spring” hitting America. NY1 is reporting without comment, noting Bloomberg has said the protesters have a right to air their grievances-peacefully.

    It is about time the fight was taken to the door step of the manipulators who brought us to the brink.

    Douglas Pepper Lang

  3. Loren says:

    OK little men, let’s see you put your foot on Manhattan’s big neck.

  4. liz banya says:

    there seems to be a move to replace the wall street bull

  5. lc says:

    WHY A SATURDAY …This is kinda of wimpy …why cant we meet and interrupt the daily lives of those that contribute to the mess unbeknownst to them …there should be no fear and no considerations .long live the people!

    1. John McG says:

      The occupation is supposed to start on Saturday and last for days, weeks, or months. Will it happen this time? We don’t know, but the worse things get, the angrier the American people will get.

  6. Someone says:

    LOL 7 days till the protest… Uhh, what should we protest?

    This protest, if you can even call it that, will just serve as yet another hindrance to the public at the hands of these so-called “anonymous” groups. Fighting for things they don’t understand, just because they can find a little bit of information about the subjects in question on Google.

    Reminds me of the SF protest. They said they have the right to protest through freedom of speech, not realizing that it’s freedom of assembly, not speech. I really trust a group of people to protest on my behalf when they don’t even know the difference between freedom of speech and assembly.

    1. John McGloin says:

      Freedom of assembly is exaclty one of the things we are fighting for. Having to get a permit, with a short time period, and pens around you is not freedom of assembly. And of course the whole point of assembling is to speak, which is why they are both in the first amendment together. And I have been studying history and economics for decades so I have some understanding of why I’ am going. And even if I didn’t have degrees in economics and political science I would still be able to look at the havoc wreaked on our economic system, and the obscene profits made by certain individuals, while the rest of us have our jobs, benefits, houses, etc taken away dfrom us.

      1. Janice Pearson says:

        I agree with you completely. If you organize in Chicago, I will definitely be there. It is about time we stand up and fight back. We work all of our lives and have nothing to show for it. Our livelihoods are taken away from us without a second thought, as if the people don’t matter. We The People are tired and broke. We are saying NO MORE. This economy was imploded intentionally!

  7. Adam says:

    Why is this happening on a Saturday? Do it during the week and actually be seen by the people that work down there and are thus causing the problems.

    1. John McG says:

      The plan is to arrive on Saturday and stay for as long as possible.

  8. Dr Cherry says:

    Keep an eye out for co-intel kids. Also, maybe try to quit supporting corporations by refusing to buy their products?

    1. Susan says:

      And take your money out of the big banks; Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, Citibank and put it in a small community bank or credit union. The only thing that gets these guys attention is when it hurts their pocketbooks.

      1. Janice Pearson says:

        You are so right. I’m on my way now to remove my money from the bank. I suggest that if we really want to make a difference, we should all strike here in America. If we don’t work they cannot take tax dollars. Don’t pay mortages, don’t pay rent, don’t shop at large food chains. The neighborhood stores will then lower their prices because they won’t have to compete with the large food chains. They will work with us. We have to go back to old school living in order to get the change we want. Instead, be more self-sufficient — grow your own food, no more paying for cable, cellphones, etc. Learn to do without for awhile to show the 1% rich and government they do not own us. As long as we feel that we need these extravagances they will be able to keep us under foot. We have to show them that they need us, not the other way around. We have to stick together or nothing will change ever.

    2. Ben Fenton says:

      Are you going to refuse food? Transportation? Clothing? You can’t just boycott capitalism. You have to destroy it. 😀

  9. John McG says:

    Obviously the big banks do large amounts of business with all of the Wall st firms, but more importantly Wall St is the literal and figurative center of the world financial comunity, which is getting away with robbing regular people for decades now.

    1. Curious says:

      It hasn’t been the literal center of the world financial community in years. Wall St is mostly shopping, restaurants, and tourist spots today. All the traders trade remotely nowadays.

      1. John McG says:

        So all of the financial companies have left the Wall St area and all those buildings are empty now? The New Yorl Stock exchange is gone? S&P is gone? Moody’s is gone? The situation may have become less centralized, but Wall str is still the center.

      2. Curious says:

        @John McG
        Moody’s is a half mile away, on the opposite side of the World Trade Center construction site. They will never see you on Wall St.

        S&P is 5-6 blocks in the polar opposite direction from Moody’s, over on Water St,. They will also never see you on Wall St.

        The buildings are mostly residential now (I know 2 people who live on the block the exchange is on), most of the traders do their work remotely (I used to support those remote connections), etc. The only people who’ll be inconvenienced by this are tourists and local residents in the neighborhood.

        Pretty much the only related people you’ll see will be the guys on the floor of the NYSE, who’re told what to buy and sell via cell phone by the people actually planning things miles away. It’d be like yelling at the Con Ed guy working on the street because you have a problem with your electric bill. It’s juvenile, pointless, and accomplishes nothing.

      3. J McG says:

        We are planning to reach a half a mile away. Unless you can tell me where the new “center” is, or tell me a spot that is more synonomous with world finance, than I’m not sure what the point ofyour argument is. These giant corporations are not loyal to NY or the United States (their bylaws forbid it) and it is not them we are trying to reach.
        The productivity of the American people keeps going up, but our real wages are flat for 30 yrs. We need a place to get together and tell the world that the financial industry will not be allowed to rob us any more.

      4. Curious says:

        @John McG

        You’re planning to reach a half mile away, across Broadway, and around the WTC construction zone? Wow, you’re REALLY pointing out how badly thought out your entire scheme is if you think the NYPD will even consider allowing you to magically blockade Broadway for any extended period of time.

        And my point is that there IS NO CENTER. There’s no one building or one place you can protest. And what does the financial industry have to do with your wage? That has more to do with your employer’s decisions than the financial industry. Or maybe protest Congress for not raising the minimum wage (and in Bachmann’s case, wanting to abolish it).

        My whole point is your acting rashly and arrogantly, with foundation in fact for your assumptions. Instead you seem to be perfectly happy with becoming a giant pain to the hundreds and thousands who live in the FiDi area to try to have your voice heard by people who are nowhere near that area and who wouldn’t care even if they were.

        You can protest a government, but the only way to protest a company is to not feed them. Don’t give them your money, end of story. Don’t buy their goods and services, don’t take loans from them, don’t put your money in them or invest your life saving in them. THAT’S how you protest a company. Not by standing in front of the building they used to work in a decade ago screaming at private citizens who have nothing to do with any of it.

      5. Curious says:

        Gah, comments lacking an edit button. Meant to say:

        “My whole point is your acting rashly and arrogantly, with *no* foundation in fact for your assumptions.”

      6. John McGl says:

        Arrogance is gettnig payed 2,000 times more than the average worker. Arrogance is 400 people that have more wealth than 125 million people. Using your right to peacefully assemble to demand that our government listen to us, even though we don’t have millions o contribute to their campaigns is democracy, not arrogance.

      7. Curious says:

        @John McG

        You miss my point entirely. Again, I will repeat myself, because it bears repeating:
        None of the people you intend to reach with this will see you, nor will they care if they did.

        You seem to think I don’t agree with the cause at hand. I absolutely do. The wealth disparity in the US is jaw dropping.

        But the issue is that you’re going about trying to provoke change in a completely ass backward way, from the entirely wrong people. THAT is the problem here. You might as well camp out in a suburb for all the good it’ll do.

        the reality is that we have no control over corporations, other than voting with our wallets. So if you want change, stop giving them your money, and vote for people in favor of campaign finance reform and restricting lobbyists. Because government is something you CAN control.

      8. John McGloin says:

        If we were the Tea Party, then ten of us could show up in some small town somewhere and get 24 hours of coverage on all of the news channels. But we are not, so to get TV coverage we need tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of people. Once we get TV coverage maybe we can get big enough crowds to actually make the politicians take notice. Maybe we can find a common thread that can bind enough of us together that we can build a real third party in American politics, so we don’t have a choice between Republicans and Republicans Lite.
        It may be a great idea to go to midtown and sit in front of one of the big banks, but in reality the transnational coporations are transnational. They are not tied to a location anymore. And right now the plan is to go to Walll St because we are angry at “Wall St.” And I don’t know what all of those police are protecting down there, but it has to be something good, because they spend a lot of cash to protect it. (Oh and by the way the Federal Reserve Bank of NY is two blocks north of the New York Stock exchange.)
        There may not be a center anymore, but a public assembly must have one, and we are mad at “Wall St.”
        If you have a better plan I’d love to hear it. Otherwise come help us keep the mega corporations and their billionaires from stealing your hard earned productivity.

  10. Curious says:

    … So is anyone other than me going to point out that all the banks responsible for the economic mess we’re in are nowhere near Wall St anymore?

    They’re all in Midtown, Jersey City, and Connecticut. Many of them haven’t had Wall St offices in decades. Wall St today is all restaurants, shops, and residential apartments.

    The only thing this will accomplish is annoying the people who live in the Financial District area, who have nothing to do with our current economic problems.

  11. CONNIE says:


  12. Connie says:

    I have to say this has been a long time coming! To account for all the corruption in our American system I think we’d have to go back to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, if not before that! Everything we think we know, is from what we’ve read or been told…like in school and on from there. Justice system? You mean where more of our tax dollars go to pay for criminals who get better than we do? OR how freakin many of them are all “ON THE SAME PAYROLL”?? An uprising is bound to happen, hopefully peaceful, but still its bound to happen. Taking back what’s the PEOPLE’s should of happened prior to the land STOLEN from the Indians! I’m a baby boomer, so I know what I’ve seen and learned since the mid 70’s, and its a lot! Government reform is the only way to make it better, but that would mean stripping all of the Governmental system….I know many of us are ready for it. Wouldn’t it be awesome to wake up in a world that’s FAIR, CARING AND TRULY EQUAL?????? All the world take care of their own and not everyone else! MONEY itself is not the root of all evil, the WRONG PEOPLE/CORPORATIONS having it and using it like they do is the “EVIL”.

  13. Senka says:

    Millions are being rendered homeless by a Wall Street gamble that left homeowners, tenants, municipalities, insurers, investors, and 401(k)/pension fund savers, and millions across the globe wiped out while Wall Street financial predators made off with billions in bonuses.The results of Wall Street’s fraud are numerous FRAUDclosuers, topped with the ignorance that works well for those who committed the biggest financial crime in the history of the world. Nothing will change until the responsible for this scam are prosecuted! We must do that, we should not rest until the truth is out and all those responsible are prosecuted.
    Do you want to see how 25,000 fraudulent docs look like? Be my guest:

  14. Anonymous says:

    One key bit of information left out in this article is that with Anonymous being involved now it is very likely we will see some major online security breaches and hacks and some damaging information leaked

    We are legion – We do not forget – We do not Forgive – EXPECT US!

  15. Stayc says:

    For all of u dumb people that are asleep at the wheel with a flat tire are the reason why we are “lazy” & the protectors are actual patriotic people if u lazy people actually paid attn in American history class.. To call these people a lot of people / teens making trouble & have time on their hands is a very “snub the unemployed or homeless” attitude – just wait the world is in financial trouble ‘ if u lazy people don’t think that this will affect you or ur job; Think again !! U can blame whomever but we all are responsible for this in sneezy- ie. Not voting.. Voting.. Allowing corporations into the governments & not making damn sure our government is here made by us & we control what happens not us being controlled by the government – u chose to put ur head in the sand is ur choice but when tshhtf don’t come banging on my door begging for hand outs. We will be protecting ourselves with our intelligence & guns / ammo… Better wake up america!! Thank u anonymous & protestors of NYC.. Wish I could be there!!

    1. stacie says:

      * not sneezy; LAZY. I freaking hate auto-correct!

  16. anonymous vermonter says:

    I wait with bated breath for the events of the 17th! I hope everyone stays safe, and if the pigs try to bloody your nose like the pig up top of this comment section, just remember, only the ignorant and scared turn to violence when reason and intellect would be better. We own the police they do not own us, follow the BART protest lead, scream ‘don’t shoot’ to shame the police. The caravan from 802 will be there!

  17. bily320 says:

    When I worked at 14 Wall st there was a group that tried to block the entrance, 2 of them had bloody noses after they tried to stop me from going by.

    1. bily320islying says:

      I don’t actually believe you. Ten bucks says you shoved past them as they chanted at you and you invented this story to feel better about your failure of masculinity.

      1. billy320isstupidandbilly320islyingisstupidtoo says:

        Ten bucks says you probably were abused as a child, and now to get off you feel a deep Freudian urge to insult other stupid Internet users all the while crowding out real comments and in general proving once again that people are the stupidest creatures on the face of the earth.

    2. Ben Fenton says:

      A Wall St businessman would never invite a lawsuit like that. FAIL.

  18. rukbat says:

    Middle class demonstrations against government corruption are going on around the world — India, China, Brazil — and now here. The only thing “Occupy Wall Street” will achieve is to call attention to the fact that the US middle class is fed up with the control of the wealthy and will lead to further demonstrations and perhaps, over the long run, to an awareness among voters currently led by the nose through propaganda who actually is holding the ring.

  19. Liz Greene says:

    Occupy Wall Street for months — RIGHT! How long before NY’s finest politely asks the protesters to leave?

  20. John McGloin says:

    400 Amercans have more wealth than half of Americans. The top 1% is manipulating markets to extract wealth from the other 99%. The productivity of the American worker keeps going up, but real wages are flat over 30 years. Your sweat is being stolen Go to Wall st on September 17th and tell your government that you are though getting robbed.

  21. American Girl says:

    To anyone reading this assuming that it’s just crazy kids with nothing better to do but stir up trouble – think again. It will be done – safely – by an array of ordinary American citizens, including your neighbors, professionals, students, scientists, spiritual leaders, and more. We have to change our country for the better before irreversible decisions are made in the name of the people, and not by them. Corporate dollars mean more than human beings right now.

    And that needs to change. Don’t depend on politicians to do it for you, they are in the pockets of the corporations. WE need to change it in the way that is our RIGHT as American citizens. Make your voice heard!

  22. The Facts says:

    Who is funding this “event”? Looks like some people have plenty of free time on their hands. Sounds like trouble.

    1. John McGloin says:

      I have a full time job but I make time to save the US economy from transnational corporations extracting $trillions from our country.

    2. John McGloin says:

      I am working with the NYC General Assembly. We have no leaders, no affiliations, and no funding. We have a democraticaly run horizontal organization that, with the help of rotating facilitators, makes decisions based on consensus and democrat vote. We break up into committees to get things done, and when money needs to be spent, we spend our own.
      Come to the next NYC General Assembly in Tompkinsville park Saturday Sept 11th at 5:00pm, to participate. Look for a big crowd of people hard at work.

    3. Ben Fenton says:

      Sounds like you have no argument and are a coward and hate democracy.

  23. INJUN93 says:


    1. Ben Fenton says:

      It’s time to dismantle the system and replace it with voluntary, mutually beneficial economic systems that help us and don’t hurt us, that don’t destroy the earth and benefit everyone. Time for stateless society.

  24. EMC says:

    It’s about time!
    I have recently admired the protests across Europe and particularly in France when the public is unhappy with conditions or an unpopular issue arises.
    Americans have been so reticent, or, lazy about getting out there to send a message.
    This should be interesting to observe.

  25. AnarchoSyndicalist says:

    I look forward to ordinary people having their say. The ordinary people of not just america but the world must stand up against this Fascist economic system which tramples on their rights! And I don’t say fascist as rhetoric, it is well know that the Nazi’s lost ww2 but fascism won, the economic system we have is that of Nazi Germany where the government and big business get into bed together, Just look at the facts, not one banker or investor who plunged the world into financial ruin has faced justice, why? because if they where to face justice then that might expose certain politicians.Just look at the Strauss Kahn case or the facebook-v-Paul Ceglia case, as soon as their is a flaw in the victims evidence the court either throws the case out or discredits the victim. A prime example of power protecting powerful people over the hard working ordinary citizen ,,,So on September17th best of luck to all who take part and hopefully you can change something in the Devils Belly

    1. IgnoranteElephante says:

      I don’t get it. Would you like people to be convited on “flaw[ed]” evidence.

      You make some heavy claims. Please also articulate some specific crimes of named bankers and investors who plunged the world into financial ruin.

      1. Anarchowhat? says:

        He does make some heavy claims, spelling/punctuation errors, and oversimplifications of complicated processes.
        If he were AnarchoSyndicalist though, he would not believe in the U.S. justice system at all (as in, all evidence in every case would always be manipulable by the ruling class in their favor), and by their very nature all bankers, CEOs, etc. are legitimized criminals who periodically plunge the world into financial ruin.
        [See wiki pages for Puente’s Libertarian Communism, the CNT, and Guerin’s book ‘Fascism and Big Business’… and maybe even Godwin’s ‘Political Justice’]

        And ordinary people would not really ‘have their say’ until enough protestors occupied the buildings and prevented worldwide business as usual from proceeding indefinitely (and you can be damn sure that big business will ‘call down the fury’ on ordinary people if/when they do that, though opposition forces may still consider this necessary)

      2. Ben Fenton says:

        If you can’t think of any then you are duuuuulllll.

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