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Occupy Kansas City

By   /   October 2, 2011  /   5 Comments

KANSAS CITY, MO. — Several dozen protesters started their “occupation” of part of Memorial Hill Park on Friday across the street from the Kansas City Federal Reserve building.

“Occupy Kansas City” is an extension of the “Occupy Wall Street” protest that started on Sept. 17 according to one of the KC organizers, Tyler Crane, who said:

“We’re going to stay here, and stay here with demands till they’re met.  And the demands are peaceful, they involve human rights … involve creating better labor classes, so there’s not so much division in labor, and ending all forms of oppression. …”

Occupy Kansas City banner

On Sept. 27 the group “Anonymous” released a YouTube video calling for protestors to “occupy everywhere” and Kansas City was mentioned as one of the 30 U.S. cities.

Unlike Tea Party rallies that had a common theme of calling for a halt to run-away government spending and increased government debt, the “Occupy” protestors seem to be mostly concerned with stopping corporate corruption and greed, as well as calling for an end to corporate influence over government through lobbyists.

The protestors say they are part of the 99 percent and want to stop the greed and corruption of the other 1 percent of society who own almost everything and have control over government.

A “Why We Occupy” wiki page gives reasons by many from Occupy Kansas City.

Much of the information about the “Occupy” events has been shared via  social media including Facebook and Twitter.

Twitter hashtags such as #occupywallstreet  and #occupykc are being used to disseminate information.

The Occupy Kansas City Facebook page tells about the “occupation” including a large rally planned for Sunday, Oct. 9.

Other “Occupy” initiatives appear to have started in Wichita and Lawrence.  An #OccupyWichita Facebook page appeared recently and #OccupyWichita tweets can be traced back to Sept. 27.   The DemocraticUnderground.com web site shows an “Occupy Lawrence” event on  Oct. 8 and this Occupy Lawrence Facebook page gives details.

Kansas Watchdog interviewed several of the #occupykc protesters on Saturday, day 2 of #occupykc, and asked them why they were participating in the event and for an explanation of their signs.

See video and transcribed excerpts below:



Excerpts from video with approximate times of various segments:

Tyler Crane is one of the #occupykc organizers

0:00 Tyler Crane, KC, MO, one of #OccupyKC organizers.

“Occupy KC is just another extension of what’s been going on Wall Street, and Wall Street started Sept 17 as a collective of citizens concerned about the way the current political system, the economic structure, the environmental policy — how all of it is carried out, how it’s broken, flawed and failing our world and the human race as a whole.  …”

“We’re the 99 percent.  We are the community.  This is not a protest against an idea or a political party.  It is a protest and a redress of grievances of the system that is failing the nation, the human race, and the environment.”

James Smith (left) and Christian Carter (right) at #occupykc on Saturday

0:59  Christian Carter, Lawrence, KS.  Sign:  “End Oppression”

“We’re here because we want to give the people their voice back to end the greed and corruption of the corporations that have a hold on our political atmosphere.  … The corporations don’t have to pay an tax dollars. …   We’re all oppressed … people are forced to live unfruitful lives.”

1:25  James Smith, KC, MO.  Sign:  “I am you & you are we”

“I’m here because I think the majority of our society is lacking in passion.  In that regard I hope to change it by spending my time in this particular moment protesting.”

“Society should be giving back more to the community, not just on a corporate level, but as a whole to the entire society as far as charitable things as opposed to the major corporations just getting bigger and bigger.”

Mitch at #occupykc said he is part of 99%

2:04  Mitch, KC, MO.  Sign:  “We are the 99%”

“I’m here to show my solidarity and support for the Occupy Wall Street movement and the occupation movements all across the county and the world really.”

“Nothing is being occupied right now except for public spaces.  … the purpose is to show our dissatisfaction for the way our country is run.   ….  the consensus here is that we’re sick and tired of corporate greed and excessive wealth.  There’s no reason in this world — I don’t care who you are — I don’t know how you can morally argue against the fact that somebody could have sheepskin leather seats in their car while children starve on this planet on a daily basis.  That’s what this is all about at the heart.”

Lisa and Robert at #occupykc saying they are against our fiat money. Lisa said this was her first public protest ever.

2:53  Lisa and Robert, KC, MO.  Sign:  “We the People are the 99%.  We will no longer remain silent.”

“[We’re here] because our country is in ruin.  We’re falling apart.”

“Thomas Jefferson, he warned us about this  … the banking institutions.  They’ve taken over our government through lobbyists … and corporations.  They’re stealing our future.  They’re stealing the future of our children.  They’re stealing the future of my grandchildren.  Something has got to stop. “

“I think we should get rid of fiat money.  I think the federal reserve needs to be dissolved.”

“This is my very first time ever protesting anything.  … I was watching the people on Wall Street and I realized that they were doing that for me, and I had to go out and do it for the rest of this country, and maybe we’ll all join together in unity and accomplish something positive in our country …”

“The top 1 percent is what owns this country, what owns our government, and what is destroying it through greed.”

“The checks and balances were in place but slowly over time they were eroded and removed to the point where they just don’t even pay any attention to the constitution anymore.”

At #OccupyKC 15-year-old Mariah wanted free health care and free education

4:37  Mariah, KC, MO, age 15.

Sign:  “In 2008 our home was foreclosed, and for 1/2 a year we were camping so we could have a place to stay.  I was sick, and couldn’t pay the medical bills.  The school wouldn’t send a tutor because it was too expensive.  Things are hard but we try.  We are the 99%!”

“I’m here in the hopes that our protest will be powerful enough to get us free health care, free education to make our nation a better place for all of us to live.”

Kansas Watchdog:  “How can that be free?  Who pays for it ultimately?”

“We pay for all, and then the top 1% they just sit back and relax and watch us as we fall.”

Kansas Watchdog:  “Tell me about your sign.”

“This all happened in 2008.  Our home was foreclosed.  We started camping so we could have a place to stay.  …  I was really sick.  I had to stay out of school because I was so sick.  My school wouldn’t send a tutor because it was too expensive for them.  I missed almost all of my sixth grade year.”

Jeremy Cigich creating new 99% sign at #occupykc

5:41  Jeremy Cigich, KC, MO, creating new sign “We are the 99%”

“We are the people that are being exploited in this country.  Occupy Kansas City is a community effort for people to get together and educate each other.”

“I’m a member of Kansas City NORML and Kansas City LEAP and usually I try to focus on drug laws. … I believe the war on drugs is a crime against humanity.”

“We’re out here because this building next to us [KC Federal Reserve] represents an institution of slavery, in my opinion … “

“I would like to see the United States’ financial system be put back in the hands of the people as opposed to private banks …  I’m with Ron Paul.  I’d like to replace the Federal Reserve and the IRS with nothing. …”

“We’ve got a medical system that’s gone awry.   It’s more based on profits than actually helping people. Virtually every major industry in the United States is operating in the same fashion.  They serve money.  They don’t serve the people. … Human suffering is a profitable industry and that’s sick.  It’s disgusting to me.”

John Rock and others secure sign from wind at #occupykc

7:36  John Rock, Liberty, MO.  Sign: ” A community voice dedicated to ending political corruption and greed.”

“I’ve come to discover that I’m here because I’m learning how to rebuild a community.  I’m learning what it’s like for Kansas Citians to feel like they’re living in a community together…”

“People are coming because they are angry about oil barons controlling the government, about other corporations controlling the government.  They’re angry that people are starving every single day and that fast food corporations throw food out every night.  There are a lot of reasons people are angry.”

“We’re surrounding around the idea of (a) rebuilding our community out of communal love, out of  fellowship, and brotherhood, and solidarity for everyone around the world, and (b) to redesign our governmental structure without monetary corruption. … Lobbyists have a lot of control in government. “

“You get on the Internet and look at OccupyWallStreet.org you’ll find all the information about why everyone is  angry for  lots of different reasons.”

10:18  Tyler Crane, KC, MO.

[continuing from introduction …]

“We’re going to stay here, and stay here with demands till they’re met.  And the demands are peaceful, they involve human rights … involve creating better labor classes, so there’s not so much division in labor, and ending all forms of oppression. …”

“If you bring people together who understand how a  whole entire system is flawed, then it becomes rebellions and revolutions.  It becomes actual reformings of society.  That what I think this is.  People really want a world and a community they live in that embraces ideas of equality, of fairness, of love and compassion, and a respect for mother nature as a whole ….   “

13:44  end of video

The IOU/USA art exhibit will be across the street from Kansas Federal Reserve until mid October.


The Top 1 Percent Statistics


Related:

  • OccupyKC:  Facebook; Web Site;  Twitter hash tags:  #OccupyKC, #OccupyMemorialDr
  • OccupyWichita:  Facebook; Twitter hash tag:  #OccupyWichita
  • OccupyLawrence:  Facebook; Twitter hash tag:  #OccupyLawrence
  • OccupyTopeka:  Twitter hash tag:  #OccupyTopeka

Contact: Earl F Glynn, earl@kansaswatchdog.org, KansasWatchdog.org


Reprinting: Kansas Watchdog is a free wire service and we welcome reprinting and only ask for attribution and notification. If you’d like to reprint this story we ask that you e-mail the author with the date the story will run and the outlet name.

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  • Scott

    I find it strange that people don’t fully understand that it was all the good times that people enjoyed that caused them to allow this stuff to go on. Now that they see what they are “missing” (like they want all that money too ???), they are angry.

    It really makes you wonder.

  • momiss

    What do you expect from a city whose mayor proposed changing the name of Paseo to MLK Drive in the hope that it would cut down on the violence???

  • Bryan

    Ahhh…another biased story that talks about how the oh-so misunderstood top 1 percent pay soooo much tax by ONLY considering the “Federal Income Tax”. Until you conservatives get real and start including FICA, Medicare, and the “employer match” payroll taxes in your “income tax” arguments, you are as dishonest as the bankers. Those other income taxes clearly are taxes on wage earners’ income and are used to fund the federal government just like the always cited “Federal Income Taxes” that you folks always complain about. You refuse to talk about all those other income taxes because they are taken at a higher rate from the poor and middle class than from your wealthy patrons, with a lower effective tax rate the higher the income level. We need to see more protests until the truth begins to be spoken and the uneducated and uninformed are no longer taken in by your well-funded propaganda apparatus.

  • Jim Henzi

    To the U.S. government:

    FIX THE PROBLEM, NOT YHE BLAME!

    You work harder at makinf the other guy look bad rather than doing the people’s business.

    FIX THE PROBLEM, NOT THE BLAME!

    Try worrying less about the people who pay your bills and more about the people who pay your salaries.

    FIX THE PROBLEM, NOT THE BLAME!

    People are hurting. Many have lost their homes, their jobs, their lives. Woeey about them rather than the the top two percent who dump on the rest of us.

    FIX THE PROBLEM, NOT THE BLAME!

    Worry less about radical “core constituencies” and more about the rest of us.

    FIX THE PROBLEM, NOT THE BLAME!

    FOR GOD’S SAKE, FIX THE PROBLEM, NOT THE B;AME!

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