Wall Street Protests Stretch On, Reasons Vary

  • Occupy Wall Street protesters confront New York City police officers Friday.
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    Occupy Wall Street protesters confront New York City police officers Friday.
    Mary Altaffer/AP
  • Dozens of police in riot gear pushed Occupy Denver protesters into retreat outside the state Capitol on Friday.
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    Dozens of police in riot gear pushed Occupy Denver protesters into retreat outside the state Capitol on Friday.
    Thomas Peipert/AP
  • Occupy Wall Street protesters are arrested Wednesday during a march near One Chase Manhattan Plaza in New York. The protest is now in its fourth week.
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    Occupy Wall Street protesters are arrested Wednesday during a march near One Chase Manhattan Plaza in New York. The protest is now in its fourth week.
    Bebeto Matthews/AP
  • Demonstrators with Occupy Boston march through Boston Common on Monday afternoon.
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    Demonstrators with Occupy Boston march through Boston Common on Monday afternoon.
    Josh Reynolds/AP
  • A man signs a huge banner depicting the Preamble to the Constitution during an Occupy DC anti-corporations protest at Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C.
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    A man signs a huge banner depicting the Preamble to the Constitution during an Occupy DC anti-corporations protest at Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C.
    Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images
  • Protesters sit around their tents during "Occupy DC" anti-corporations protest.
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    Protesters sit around their tents during "Occupy DC" anti-corporations protest.
    Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images
  • A woman who identified herself as "Marygoround" attempts to balance numerous hula hoops while others toss more at her during the Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park, New York, in early October.
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    A woman who identified herself as "Marygoround" attempts to balance numerous hula hoops while others toss more at her during the Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park, New York, in early October.
    Andrew Burton/AP
  • A large group of Occupy Wall Street protesters demonstrating against corporate greed and social inequality, among other grievances, attempt to cross the Brooklyn Bridge in New York on Oct. 1, effectively shutting down parts of the bridge.
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    A large group of Occupy Wall Street protesters demonstrating against corporate greed and social inequality, among other grievances, attempt to cross the Brooklyn Bridge in New York on Oct. 1, effectively shutting down parts of the bridge.
    Will Stevens/AP
  • In Los Angeles, protesters marched to City Hall during the Occupy Los Angeles demonstration, held to show solidarity with the ongoing protest on Wall Street.
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    In Los Angeles, protesters marched to City Hall during the Occupy Los Angeles demonstration, held to show solidarity with the ongoing protest on Wall Street.
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
  • Protesters in New York sit in the plaza of police headquarters on Sept. 30.
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    Protesters in New York sit in the plaza of police headquarters on Sept. 30.
    Louis Lanzano/AP
  • The Occupy Wall Street protest began more than two weeks ago. On Sept. 26, protesters marched past Federal Hall on Wall Street.
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    The Occupy Wall Street protest began more than two weeks ago. On Sept. 26, protesters marched past Federal Hall on Wall Street.
    Louis Lanzano/AP
  • Protesters sleep in the park on Sept. 26. Nearly 80 people were arrested the weekend before in a series of incidents with the police as the protesters attempted to march uptown.
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    Protesters sleep in the park on Sept. 26. Nearly 80 people were arrested the weekend before in a series of incidents with the police as the protesters attempted to march uptown.
    Spencer Platt/Getty Images
  • Protesters march on Wall Street amid heavy police presence on Sept. 20 in Manhattan. The demonstrators, who have been camping overnight in nearby Zuccotti Park since Sept. 17, were surrounded by police officers around the clock.
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    Protesters march on Wall Street amid heavy police presence on Sept. 20 in Manhattan. The demonstrators, who have been camping overnight in nearby Zuccotti Park since Sept. 17, were surrounded by police officers around the clock.
    John Minchillo/AP

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Protesters in New York City near Wall Street show no signs of going home anytime soon as their occupation enters its third week. If anything, the protesters seem emboldened by the arrest of some 700 people during a demonstration on the Brooklyn Bridge over the weekend.

Those events have focused more attention than ever on the occupation, though what exactly the protesters want remains a bit unclear.

On Monday, Day 15 of "Occupy Wall Street" brought out the zombies.

Demonstrators dressed up in black, white and red zombie makeup. Protester Trevor Rallston's costume included a fake $1,000 bill attached somehow to the corner of his mouth.

"Out here today to juxtapose zombie-eating money between corporate bankers that consume everything. Never enough. Must have it all! Tax the poor! Tax cuts for the rich!" Rallston says in a throaty zombie voice.

Protesters march through New York's financial district dressed as corporate zombies on Monday. i i

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Protesters march through New York's financial district dressed as corporate zombies on Monday.

John Minchillo/AP
Protesters march through New York's financial district dressed as corporate zombies on Monday.

Protesters march through New York's financial district dressed as corporate zombies on Monday.

John Minchillo/AP

The zombie agenda is just one of many issues and philosophies animating these protesters, who've eaten and slept in Lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park for more than two weeks now. If you ask them what exactly they're protesting against, you get a lot of different answers. But some themes do emerge.

"Corporations are screwing everybody — excuse the language," says Joanne Fiorito, who drove from Pennsylvania to support the protesters. "I think [the protesters] want to stop corporate greed. The money is not trickling down to we the people. If it was, there wouldn't be these people here."

And Bennett Weiss of Newburgh, N.Y., brought his button-making machine to the park. He's turning out free buttons that say "Economic Justice: Support the Wall Street occupation."

"People always ask, 'Oh, the people there don't have a goal, they don't have demands.' You want to know why we're here? I'll show you," Weiss says. "Economic justice. That's why we're all here. Economic justice now. That's the umbrella reason."

If that seems like a pretty big umbrella, it is, says protester Caitlyn Leigh.

"It's a very diverse group of people who want very diverse groups of things. And so to be able to pinpoint one specific thing that everyone wants is extremely difficult, and will take a very long time," Leigh says.

But the protesters have the media's attention right now. Over the weekend, 700 of them were arrested for blocking the roadway of the Brooklyn Bridge. Protesters say they were entrapped by the cops, though police released a video that appears to show them warning the crowd to disperse.

Similar "Occupation" protests are popping up around the country in cities like Chicago and Boston. In downtown Los Angeles, a few dozen protesters are gathered outside City Hall. Sarah McGovern says she plans to stay there until December.

"There's not liberty for us. There's no education, no health care. We don't have equality. Equal rights are kind of a joke at this point. If you're rich, you're rich. And if you're not, good luck," McGovern says.

The protesters say they're staying put until the message — whatever it is — gets through.

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