November Newsletter – CNN Student News Transcript

CARL AZUZ, HOST, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Friday`s are awesome. We appreciate you spending part of yours with CNN Student News. My name is Carl Azuz. I`m coming to you from the CNN Newsroom here in Atlanta, Georgia.

First up, Occupy Wall Street heads into its third month of protests.


AZUZ (voice-over): Back in September, organizers urged people to gather in New York City for a couple months of protests. Now the movement has spread to other cities around the U.S. It doesn`t look like it`s ending any time soon.


AZUZ: Even though we`re two months into these protests, we still don`t know what the protesters` demands are. They`re speaking out against the U.S. financial industry. They`re also speaking out against a lot of other things. And there`s no one leader, either. Christine Romans gives us some idea of what this whole Occupy Movement is about.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN REPORTER: This has lasted much longer than any other protest I`ve ever seen on Wall Street, and I`ve seen a lot of sit-ins and protests and marches. This is definitely — one has more legs than any that I`ve ever seen.

ROMANS (voice-over): Occupy Wall Street has been trying to raise awareness of this growing income gap, this growing opportunity and wealth between the richest people in America and the rest of us, the 99 percent, they say.

They`re protesting inequality, lack of opportunity, a jobs market that`s not working for everyone, too much student debt, and kind of they feel like they`ve been sold a bill of goods.

ROMANS: . that they`ve taken out all this student debt for a place in an economy that`s not giving them a job that`s going to help them pay off that student debt. What they`re protesting, they`re protesting business as usual.

ROMANS (voice-over): . in Washington and business in — as usual on Wall Street. Both of those two big institutions, two big power structures in America.

ROMANS: . that they think have conspired to make the wealthy wealthier, and not serve the middle class and poor people.

When you talk to them, they say, we`re not going to draw up a specific list of demands.

ROMANS (voice-over): We`re here to draw awareness to the numbers that don`t lie, that the rich are getting richer, the middle are barely holding on and the poor are getting poorer.

ROMANS: . and that there are just fundamental unfairnesses that have to go with greed in banks and greed in Washington that make this continue.

The richest 1 percent of Americans made $343, 000 last year or more, according to the IRS. That 1 percent has seen its income triple from 1979 to 2007. At the same time, the middle class has seen its income up about 40 percent, and the poor, the very bottom of that income, has barely seen it move. So you`ve seen a widening income gap, the biggest, widest income gap we`ve seen in this country in 70 years.

More than punishing the 1 percent, what they`re saying is we are the 99 percent. What about us?

ROMANS (voice-over): We are a bigger group. We can be strong.

ROMANS: We can stand here and occupy some place and show you and raise awareness that your policies are not benefiting everyone. They`re only benefiting a few. So rather than indicting the top 1 percent — and there are those who do that — but they`re really trying to turn the focus on the 99 percent, who they say have been left behind.


AZUZ: Yesterday was the two-month mark since the beginning of Occupy Wall Street. Organizers called for people to make it a mass day of action. Before it got started, New York officials talked about balancing the protesters` rights with the need to keep things under control.


HOWARD WOLFSON, NEW YORK DEPUTY MAYOR: The Occupy Wall Street movement has said that this is going to be a massive protest. There are going to be tens of thousands of people in the street.

Now this is New York. We will be prepared. We are always prepared. This is a place where we honor the First Amendment, where people come and protest all the time. And we`re going to make sure that if people want to peacefully protest, they`re going to have the right to do that. If people break the law then, obviously, we`ll deal with that.

AZUZ (voice-over): And it was a massive protest. Hundreds of people went back to the park that Occupy Wall Street used as a home base before they were kicked on Tuesday. They marched through the streets near the New York Stock Exchange. Fights broke out between protesters and police. At least 175 people were arrested. Police said several officers were also injured during the day.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this legit? The day after Thanksgiving is known as Green Friday.

Not legit. It`s called Black Friday, because it`s when stores hope to make enough sales to get “in the black,” which means to make a profit.


AZUZ: If you`ve been brave enough to hit the mall on Black Friday, you know just how crowded things can get. The National Retail Federation estimates that more than 150 million Americans will go shopping over Black Friday weekend.


AZUZ (voice-over): Stores are trying to get a jump on making those sales. Target, Best Buy and Macy`s are planning to open at midnight. And the day before Black Friday, Walmart will let shoppers in at 10:00 p.m. It`ll be 9:00 p.m. for Toys `r` Us.

The day before Black Friday is Thanksgiving, and that`s not going over so well with some of these stores` employees. At least one started a petition to try to get his store to open later so that employees can have more time with their families.

Some shoppers are on board with this Black Friday backlash as well, but these early openings can also mean big business, and other customers consider shopping part of their Thanksgiving holiday tradition.