Occupy Wall Street spreads to Kansas City

Posted by David Martin on Mon, Oct 3, 2011 at 6:00 AM

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 The occupation was off to a tentative start when a trolley driver showed up with a bullhorn.

Taking inspiration from the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, about 15 people showed up at Penn Valley Park at 9 a.m. Friday for Phase One of Occupy Kansas City. The cars and bicycles collected in a parking lot near the shipping containers that comprise sculptor John Salvest’s IOU/USAtemporary installation. Val Baul, who hosts a show on KKFI 90.1, pulled up in the KC Strip trolley car that she drives and left the group with a megaphone. “I think the movement is about movement,” she explained, standing near her trolley. “I think people are tired of the status quo.”

On its website, Occupy Wall Street describes itself as a “leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that we are the 99 percent that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1 percent.”

Tyler Crane, a ponytailed glassworker, was handing out “We are the 99 percent” buttons as Phase One of the Kansas City occupation began. Over his shoulder stood what he believes to be a symbol of the greed and corruption of the 1 percent: the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Crane subscribes to a theory that our modern economic turmoils can be traced back to the decision 100 years ago to establish a central bank. “People are mad because they played with the money system,” he said.

The Occupy Wall Street movement is diffuse. The Federal Reserve Act that vexes Crane is a non-issue for other demonstrators. What’s shared is a frustration that our economic and political systems seem rigged.

Meghan Whelan, a 30-year-old single mother who lives in the Northeast, said she got involved with Occupy KC because of inequality.

“I think that’s the main reason that all of us are here, is because we don’t really feel like there is any equality with how the people are being represented in Washington,” she said. “Because we don’t have the money to pay lobbyists. We don’t have the money to contribute to campaigns in the way that corporations do.”

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  • Meghan Whelan occupied as Stephen Grube circled the gathering on his bike.

Whelan graduated from Park University in 2006 and found a job in her chosen field, public relations. But her employer began shedding clients when the economy tanked in 2008. Whelan lost her job. Today she works as a bartender.

The financial crisis put Whelan’s career on indefinite hold. She’s upset that it has been treated like a natural disaster. “There’s nobody who’s being held accountable for it,” she said.

The Occupy movement is an opportunity for the young and young at heart to air their grievances in something resembling a festival atmosphere. (One middle-aged Kansas City occupier broke out a fiddle.) Baul’s issues include the influence of lobbyists on policymaking, military spending, capital punishment, genetically modified foods and media consolidation. “There are seven corporations that control all of our media,” she complained.

Stephen Grube, 29, was balancing on a bike as Baul spoke. Identifying himself as a libertarian conservative, he said he felt more like an observer than a participant. As he saw it, the litany that Baul presented would make it difficult for the Occupy movement to turn grievances into outcomes. “I think that’s part of the problem, is that a lot of people see so many problems, and they don’t know where to start,” he said.

Whelan said the demonstrators just wanted to be heard.

“We’re not going to come out of here tonight and say, ‘OK, guys, we figured it out. This is the one thing why we’re here.’ Because there isn’t one reason. That’s just the truth. People who can’t swallow that and handle that, I’m sorry. There isn’t one reason. There just isn’t,” she said.

Before Phase One began, Whelan and other organizers had talked with city officials about their plans to occupy the area around Memorial Drive. As Whelan spoke to a reporter, a police cruiser pulled into the parking lot. The officer in the car called out to her. “Did you want my phone number in case you have a question?” he asked.

A day later, more than 700 demonstrators were arrested in New York. But in Kansas City, the movement was still in Phase One. Phase Two begins October 9.

OKC GA Minutes 11.09.11



Proposals reaching consensus:


Proposals not reaching consensus:


Facilitation info:
Facilitator:  Buckley
Timekeeper: Andrew
Stack taker: Monroe
Live-stream: Mike M
Minutes: Lucky / Clinton
attendance: 23
Location: KC Fed / Liberty Memorial Campsite 
Begin time: 6:30 pm
End time: 7:00 pm

Announcements by Working Groups

Info (Lucky) - OWS Daily. Total arrests 3483, Arrests today 48. OccupyWallStreet has implemented spokes council. Chicago in solidarity with transit workers. St. Louis 40 people met with the Mayor to discuss moving camp, but no decisions were made. On Monday, a rep from Occupy Oakland attended our GA to share what is going on in Oakland and hear about what we are doing - Lucky has her contact info.

Comfort (Monroe) - Need people to take some of the donated clothes to their homes and wash/dry them. Will be speaking with Town Planning WG to plan a Thanksgiving dinner.

Peacekeeping (Lucky) - Peacekeeping WG meeting times are Monday after GA and Wednesday at noon at the Occupy KC site. Will be meeting with Town Planning to discuss issues and concerns brought up in Peacekeeping WG meeting today.

Education (Roman) - Meetings at 5:45 pm. Next meeting at 5:15 at the Downtown Public Library (10th and Main St.).

Direct Action (Monroe) - Solidarity protests with Honeywell workers. Bus picking up at the Occupy KC site at 8:00 am on Saturday.

Announcements by Individuals

Brian - For Veteran’s Day, honor your Vets. Brian is working on an organization map of the camp to better help people who want to help.

Daniel - International Day of Action on Nov. 17. Other occupations are having solidarity events and we should too.

POI: DAWG  is discussing this even already.

Greta - Artist friend made Occupy KC stickers for us to sell.

Proposals by Working & Thematic GroupsNone

Proposals by Individuals

General Assembly adjourned at 7:00. Duration: 30 minutes

Links to minutes:   Google Doc  |  HTML

Occupy Kansas City

Funny times when you meet random socialists who come up to your libertarian hangout and start blabbing about violent coercion as the only way to have a functioning society (i.e. Taxation) then leaves when she decidedly disagrees.

Something interesting I have often found. It is not the libertarians who can’t stand the statists/socialists… it is the statists/socialists who can’t stand us.

We listen and understand. They oftentimes don’t. 

Ocuppy KC Protesters Support Bank Transfer Day

Occupy Protesters are calling for people to close their bank accounts and switch to credit union accounts. 
Fox 4 November 6, 2011, by Gia Vang

Some Occupy Kansas City protesters say they took advantage of National Bank Transfer Day. That means they closed their bank accounts and switched to credit union accounts. Protesters say if you have a debit card with a bank cut it up and throw it away.

Protesters switched from their usual location near Liberty Memorial to stand in front of a Bank of America in Westport. Some held signs while others had bullhorns. They all shared the same message that they feel banks are robbing the American people.

“It was the sort of thing that kept growing and growing over the years,” said Russell Therpe who closed his bank account.
“I started out with one fee and then oh, here’s another fee. It just kept creeping up and finally I was just like this is like 2 percent of the entire balance of my account sometimes and I’m tired of paying it.”

“I just like what they’re about generally speaking,” said Dennis Michael. “They’re not for profit and their main interest is in their customers.”

The Credit Union National Association says in just four weeks, 650,000 people have switched over.

“A lot of referrals right now are really flooding lobbies of credit unions and 650,000 people right now have been mad at their bank, whether it’s Bank of America or getting feed by banks,” said Erin Williams, United Labor Credit Union.

Bank of America had tried a debit usage fee but it didn’t go over well with customers. On November 1, Bank of America decided not to try it. The bank also sent out a statement saying it got awards for the best Bank for Cash and for Financial Supply Chain in North America.

Occupy protesters say it’s not enough.

The Credit Union National Association says the recent shift in customers has brought more than $4.5 million in new savings accounts.

Solidarity: Communities Creating Opportunity Now!

TONIGHT, Tuesday, October 18, 2011 from 6:30 PM to 8:15 PM (CT), let’s help pack Union Station to advocate for change and solutions benefiting Kansas and Missouri families.

Meet at the main campsite by the Kansas City Federal Reserve to march as a group 2 blocks south to Union Station.

General Assembly will be postponed by 1hr 15min to 7:45pm.

More info here.

horrorstar-deactivated20140202  asked:

Hello there. I'm part of the 99%. I've been on this Tumblr for a while now, reading & watching almost everything on it. I really wish I lived in the NYC area so I could also go out & protest. But sadly, I do not. I live in a backwater town in Missouri. What I really want to say is, if there is a way for me to take a stand here, I would really like to know.

Yes, of course! Spread the word as much as you can, however you can. Educate your neighbors, friends, family. Educate younger people, teenagers. Find out how they are struggling economically- foreclosures, lack of jobs, educational cuts, etc. Tweet about it, share it on Facebook, write a brief, concise article and try submitting it to your local newspaper as an article or op-ed. Make flyers- hand-make them if you have to and pass them out. Contact the NYPD, Bloomberg, the Boston PD, wherever you see injustice and appeal to have them release the arrested. Investigate the corruption in your town or state (look into injustices by banks- search for “robo-signing” as an example, connections of representatives to big corporations, etc) and expose them. Do so anonymously if you need to.

Connect with the other Missouri groups and ask them how you can help, even if you can’t get to the protests. Not everyone can make it the to occupations, for all sorts of reasons. I’ll only be able to get to the one closest to me a day or two a week. Some are disabled and can’t make it at all, some don’t have the finances. Right now, what we need most (IMO), is getting the word out to people, what this movement is about. Figure out how to appeal to those around you if you can. It’s not a political movement- it affects all parties. Start by sharing how the postal service is getting screwed. Especially if you live in a rural area, this is something that can have a big impact on your community, and it’s something that people are uneducated about, but could get behind if they knew the facts.

You don’t have to be there to be a part of it. I’ll try to answer more in the next day or two but will go ahead and post this. Hopefully others will respond with other ideas.





Breaking News: The Occupation Begins!


The site is located on the NW corner of Tropicana and Paradise. It’s 6 to 8
acres in area, directly across the street from the Thomas & Mack Center. The
paperwork will be signed between 9AM and 10AM, at the Clark County Government
Center Building: 500 South Grand Central Parkway. If you want to be there,
come on down! While you’re there, you can also stop in at the voter
registration drive (First floor, Suite 1117), to register or update your
party affiliation to nonpartisan. The Occupation Site will officially open at



Occupy KC mic checking Donald Rumsfeld 2/24/12. 


JCAV News - Occupy Kansas City

General Assembly minutes (Monday, October 17, 2011)


Monday, October 17, 2011

 Proposals passed:

  • Creation of Treasury Workgroup
  • Accept all food donations
Facilitator: Zach
Timekeeper: Melissa
Livestream: Chad
Minutes: Amy
Weather: RAINY & COLD
In attendance: About 30
Location: KC Fed/Liberty Memorial campsite
Acronyms: DAWG: Direct Action Work Group
CCO: Communities Creating Opportunities


CCO event tomorrow
Tall guy with beret: SEIU fighting for their first contract this Wednesday.
  • Google group problem is fixed

  • Wednesday (5:30pm) and Friday (4:30pm), canvassing workshops will be held for outreach in Northeast for our Oct. 30 event.

Media (Michael):
  • There will be a cookout at 5pm this Wednesday.
  • We filed an application for a permit with the Parks Dept today and should have a response by Wednesday.
    • Tyler says he can add KCMO to his existing $1 million liability policy; this should take care of the insurance requirement for the tent permit.

Comfort (Monroe): ?

  • This Sunday’s Day of Education will have children’s activities. We need two adults to email edu@occupykc.com who can help with the kids.

Tony’s Kansas City apparently posted a link to our live feed for tonight’s General Assembly.

There is a rally for Reggie Clemons on October 30th. Will bring info to DAWG’s meeting tomorrow.


Al-haj (with proposed amendments by others): Proposes a treasury workgroup to improve transparency, as well as a list on the website of donations received and expenditures. *Passed* People interested in being on the Treasury work group should meet immediately after the GA.

Someone brought food recently and was apparently told it was unacceptable? Proposal to accept all food donations, and to find another destination for any food deemed “unacceptable.”  *Passed*

General Assembly adjourned. Duration: 18 minutes!

Google Doc: