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“…It needs to be a little bit more egalitarian. It needs to be more for the people than for the few. That’s how I feel about it…” – an Occupy activist, today, on the Quad at the University of Central Missouri, in a conversation with a few apparent Ron Paul supporters.

Occupy the Quad – in conversation.

Several students held an Occupy demonstration on the Quad at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg today. We interviewed one of the students after she had been engaged in a lengthy conversation with three apparent Ron Paul supporters. The Ron Paul “supporters”, by their comments, appeared to defenders of Wall Street, corporatist apologists, anti-organized labor, and quite comfortable with exporting jobs overseas because that labor is “cheaper”.

The transcript of our interview:

Show Me Progress: Why are you out here today?

Kelley Dragoo: Um, I’m trying to raise awareness right now for the Occupy movement. Um, a lot of people on campus are uninformed or misinformed. And right now we’re just trying to raise, raise awareness and get, get people, um, to stop thinking about it and start doing something about it.

Show Me Progress: Uh, so how long have you been out here this afternoon?

Kelley Dragoo: I’ve been here since six in the morning. Um, it’s been quite a long day [laugh]…


Kelley Dragoo, Occupy activist and University of Central Missouri student, on the UCM Quad in Warrensburg.

Show Me Progress: So, what, what kind of, uh, feedback have you been getting.

Kelley Dragoo: Uh, I’ve gotten some pretty positive feedback. We’ve had, you know, we had a few hecklers. Somebody came by earlier this morning and told me that if I burned a flag he would punch me in the face. And I said, well, I’m not, I don’t plan on burning any flags [laugh]. Um, and, uh, I think, I think the overall aware, I think it’s just been an atmosphere of awareness, you know. I’ve had a lot of, um, a lot of one on one conversations talking to people and just letting them know what’s going on, um, about how our, our First Amendment rights are being challenged all over the nation right now. Uh, via the protests being slowly silenced, um, in New York City right now. Uh, they’re, they’ve been kicked out of Zuccotti Square on, they got kicked out of Zuccotti Square on Tuesday. Tried to, um, tried to, uh, get a restraining order against the police to allow them to stay there and continue, you know, protesting and, uh, push came to shove, and they, they got kicked out. And they’re, they’re not allowed to, to occupy with, with tents anymore. They’re allowed to protest, but, uh, they’re, the government’s doing everything in its power to kind of stifle it.  And, um, it’s scary, you know, these are our First Amendment rights. And that’s happening, that, you know, that’s not just New York City, that’s Boston, Philadelphia, uh, San Francisco, I heard, I heard Dallas and St. Louis are having problems as well as Oakland. I know a lot of people knew what was going on in Oakland, but the problem is the media’s not, not doing anything about this. And if they are it’s in a very biased and negative sort of way. And it’s scary that, that we’re being silenced and, and no one seems to understand that.

Show Me Progress: Uh, so, how long do you plan to be out here?

Kelley Dragoo: Um, I’ll be out here until five o’clock today. But, like I said, I’m just trying to get people informed, um, and, and I’ve got, I, I have a sign up list, uh, trying to get people’s num, you know, information to get them activated. Uh, next semester I think is when we’re gonna go a little bit harder and, uh, try and get people more involved.

“…And right now we’re just trying to raise, raise awareness and get, get people, um, to stop thinking about it and start doing something about it…”

That’s how you start building a movement.