Occupy Wall Street Movement Sparks Camp Out In OKC
Michael Konopasek, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- People continue to fill a downtown Oklahoma City park to protest various issues including corporate greed.
Participants say they plan to camp out downtown as they spread the Occupy Wall Street movement that has spread throughout the country.
Kerr Park in the heart of downtown is the sight of the demonstration. Participants are calling the local gathering ''Occupy OKC.'' They say they plan to be at the park for a while.
Music, food and First Amendment Rights filled the park late Monday.
'' The goal is to get the attention of the bankers and the politicians both,'' said group participant Jay Trenary.
Other participants shared a similar sentiment.
''The goal is to focus on people's needs rather than corporate greed,'' Participant Mary Francis said.
On Friday, upwards of 300 people gathered to discuss issues of corporate greed. Monday, a slightly smaller crowd spent the night.
Group organizers say they have been working closely with the city and police to insure peaceful demonstrations. The group was issued a three-day permit, which organizers say they hope to extend. The movement's reach to the heartland is sparking optimism in Oklahoma.
''I feel like Oklahoma stands back with stuff like this because it's such a conservative state,'' said participant Rayna Stem. '' The fact that it reached here is pretty cool. So maybe there is some sort of hope that something big is coming out of it.''
Those of the older generations showed support to the younger protestors.
'' The wonderful thing is that these young people are passionate about it,'' Mary Francis said.
Each person came with his or her own issue from education to defense. But, all seemed to stand behind the message that, they, the 99 percent are not being heard while money is being heard.
"Corporate profits should be for shareholders and not for politicians," said Michael Krauss, retired corporate employee.
Participants say they plan to start marching on Tuesday.
Kerr Park closes at 11 p.m. each night, but police say the group has the right to be there since the city has issued it a permit.