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“….What is the commonality? The, uh, the commonality is that whatever your view is, we feel that it’s not being heard in Washington….”

This morning we stopped by Occupy Kansas City in Penn Valley Park, across from the Federal Reserve Bank. There will be a march from Penn Valley Park to the the J.C. Nichols fountain at 47th and Main at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 10th.

Occupy Kansas City in Penn Valley Park across from the Federal Reserve Bank.

In the background is John Salvest’s “temporary public monument” IOU/USA.

While at Occupy Kansas City we spoke with a few people:

Show Me Progress: …How long have you been out here?

Michael McConnell: Um, continuously, just since yesterday evening. But I was also here last weekend, uh, Friday through Sunday last weekend.

Show Me Progress: And what kind of response have you been getting?

Michael McConnell: Um, I’d say it, it tends slightly towards positive. We’ve gotten a lot of people, you know, like, “Get a job, go back to school.” Which most of us have jobs or are students, but, anyway, uh, we’ve had a handful of those, but we’ve also had a lot of people like honk and wave and give us fist pumps and thumbs up. And so I’d say, I’d say the, uh, positive responses outweigh the negative ones.

Show Me Progress: Yeah, and have, so have you noticed any increase in media, uh, attention?

Michael McConnell: Um, I guess so. I mean, you guys are here. Uh, we did, we did get one report the first day on, uh, Fox four. But, uh, we, we just had an article in the Kansas City Star. I think we had a few other, uh, blogs reporting, so, uh, a slight increase. But, I mean, like I said, since the first day we’ve had news, media presence.

Show Me Progress: Right, and they’re, they’re planning sort of a, a larger kind of, uh, a larger set of activities tomorrow, aren’t they?

Michael McConnell: Yeah.

Show Me Progress: Do you anticipate a little bigger crowd?

Michael McConnell: Oh, yeah. We did a march yesterday and handed out well over a thousand flyers, talking about the concert we’re having tomorrow. and so…

Show Me Progress: And there is a march tomorrow, too, isn’t there?

Michael McConnell: Yes, uh, and, uh, so I think because of the concert we’re gonna get an influx.

And then also, uh, when this started there were like five people on Twitter that were all like trying to start up their own. Uh, that coalesced into two. And they were, they were disagreeing about dates. So, uh, last Friday until today is what we were calling phase one. And then, uh, phase two starts tomorrow. And that’s just the people that, uh, that was occupy Memorial, uh and they wanted to start on October ninth, so that.            

Show Me Progress: Yeah, and, uh, so, you’re finding that this is sort of a collective decision making for this kind of thing. Where people get together and work it out, sort out [crosstalk], you’re gonna do this.  

Michael McConnell: Yeah, yeah. Uh, I…

Show Me Progress: So it’s very, it’s not a top down process.

Michael McConnell: No, not at all. And I keep hearing, uh, reports like from Fox calling us like a Democrat backed, uh, organization or something, but it’s not the case at all. I mean, we’ve got all, we’ve got all different views being expressed here. I mean, I’m reading [crosstalk]…

Show Me Progress: So, so obviously the Koch brothers aren’t funding you.

Michael McConnell: No. It was like five people on Twitter that started this and we’ve got really diverse views. [….] really, everything is being expressed here.

Show Me Progress: Yeah, and but, what is the commonality though, for people?

Michael McConnell: What is the commonality? The, uh, the commonality is that whatever your view is, we feel that it’s not being heard in Washington. Because, um, with corporate personhood and, um, no, no restrictions on campaign finances we think that, uh, it’s just corporations being represented in Washington. That whoever you vote for, they aren’t going to represent you, they’re going to represent whoever funds their election.

Show Me Progress: Uh, so, what’s your hopes, uh, what, what are your goals for, for this.              

Michael McConnell: Um, I’m not sure. Uh, I’ve heard talks about a, uh, constitutional amendment about getting the, uh, money out of politics. I’ve heard talk about ending corporate personhood. Uh, and I think that’s what makes this different than a lot of other protests, is that this is an ongoing conversation. Uh, it’s the, I mean, we didn’t all come here with one mission that we’re trying to, to, uh, see achieved. We all came here with one problem that we’re trying to find a solution to.

Blue Girl conducting an interview. The Federal Reserve Bank complex is in the background.

The central campsite. The Liberty Memorial is in the background.