Saturday’s Occupy Koch Town march was very successful, even though the Kansas Policy Institute was closed and all the frightened workers were not there. This march went past the KPI, downtown past The Chamber of Commerce building to the Century II building and by the Bank of America Building.
There were about 200 people. They were from all around, Lawrence Kansas, Omaha Nebraska, Kansas City, and parts of Missouri. Most had there own Occupy movements and some seemed to carry anarchist symbols or IWW (International Workers of the World union) pins. Members of the local Democratic Socialist of America were there.
There were some elaborate displays; such a replica of the oil pipeline, a man drenched himself in chocolate to look like he was covered in oil. A girl carried a cardboard oil well tower and another girl covered herself in vines and flowers.
There were many signs against the Koch brothers and their support for the tar sand oil pipeline and their buying of democracy.
The only snag of the march was when the police chased us from the Century II building which was holding its commercial “Women’s Fair.”
The police told us this was private property. Then a woman came out and told us it was private property. I told her the city owns it and she said she rented it. Some of us argued with the police that Century II is publicly owned and paid for by tax dollars. He just kept saying “This is private property.”
Then they threatened to arrest an older marcher for allegedly saying obscenities. Everyone from out of town was amazed this city has an ordinance against using obscenities in public. “What about free speech?” some of the younger protesters asked. Some of us also said “this is what a police state looks like.”
The police let the man go after another officer said they had the wrong person.
Janice Bradley gave a speech on the steps of the Chamber of Commerce Building:
“The Chamber recently honored a war criminal across the street (pointing to the Century II building). George Bush is a war criminal. She and the crowd chanted “Shame on the Chamber,”
According to KSN TV News;“They believe there is more to the demonstration than just protesting the pipeline.
"They are using this as a way to promote their own political agenda and fund raise," says Holden. "I think that is all that is going on here. They are not really interested in the truth."
Koch is right about us having a political agenda. We want their money out of politics. But we do want the truth. -សតិវ អតុ
A near arrest.