The first Occupy protest may have started in New York, but now the movement has spread throughout the country. NewsOK Reporter Matt Patterson went down to the state Capitol Saturday to speak with protesters about Occupy Oklahoma City and what it means to them.
Swofford is a cook at Chili’s. Like most of the protesters, he is motivated by what he views as a transfer of wealth away from the poor and middle class.
“The richest one percent controls 45 to 50 percent of this country’s wealth,” he said. “We’re not asking for other people’s money. What we want is fairness.”
In some states people have been arrested for staying out past city-imposed curfews for participating in the protests. A reporter in Nashville, Tenn. was even arrested for interviewing people on the grounds of the Legislative Plaza. See the video here.
Betsy Randolph, an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper, said the agency knew protesters were going to show up at the Oklahoma Capitol. OHP Capt. Pete Norwood had this to say about the protests:
We always have Troopers on Duty at the Capitol, prepared to respond to any situation in the State Park. Weekend Demonstrations are no different and usually require less intrusive security measures,” Norwood said.
Randolph said she hasn’t been made aware of any problems with protesters. She said any acts of violence or vandalism will be handled according to state law, whether that means issuing citations or placing people under arrest.
We were no more concerned than we usually are when we have any other peaceful assembly on the Capitol grounds,” she said.
So what do you think about the Occupy Movement? Have these protests lost all meaning or are they making a mark in history?
Photo by Doug Hoke: Groups of people march with Occupy Oklahoma at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City Saturday, October 29, 2011.