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Occupy OKC activists take over downtown park - indefinitely

Andrew W. Griffin
The "pissed-off worker bee" is one of many activists taking part in the "Occupy OKC" gathering.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Approximately 300 people gathered in Kerr Park late Monday afternoon as part of the national “Occupy Wall Street” movement which is spreading through the U.S. like wildfire.

And many of them plan to camp and protest Wall Street, the Federal Reserve or other bastions of corporate power – indefinitely.

“In the unfortunate instance that you are arrested, do not resist arrest,” warned an attorney acting as part of the Occupy OKC legal team. He went on to say that Occupy OKC is committed to non-violence. The Oklahoma City Police Department had so far been very courteous and helpful and a few signs offered thanks to the cops for their cooperation during the occupation.

There were plenty of signs for the occupiers to hold and wave here on Robert S. Kerr Avenue. A few stated the following: “I’d rather be rebuilding America’s infrastructure,” “Privatized gains = Socialized loss,” “Bail out the 99% not the rich execs,” “Audit the Federal Reserve,” and “Resistance is fertile.”

And one middle-aged man, looking a bit down in the mouth, held a simple sign which read: “Pissed-off worker bee.”

It wasn’t clear how many “pissed-off worker bees” were in the crowd – it was mostly young, white and scruffy – but they were there to make their voices heard to the drones who were within talking – or shouting – distance.

Moira, who would not give her last name, is from Oklahoma and had been down in Dallas at the Occupy the Fed event in that Texas city.

“That Alex Jones is really theatrical,” Moira said with a grin, talking to another activist about the truth-seeking Texas-based radio talk show host.

With an easy smile and multiple piercings, Moira and her male companion said they were “playing it by ear” as to whether they would stay in Kerr Park for more than a day or two.

“I helped him open his eyes,” she said, gesturing to the smiling young man next to her.

Moira had just eaten a spring roll offered by the dreadlocked woman operating the “Boots and Barefeet Kitchen.”

Noting the vegetarian spring roll, Moira said she was told by the “kitchen” staff that no animals had suffered in the creation of the food being offered. There was tea available, but no coffee, much to the chagrin of Moira’s companion.

While pleasant enough and touting the benefits of vegetarianism, the dreadlocked young woman declined to tell Red Dirt Report her name or where she was from.

“I think it’s beautiful,” she said, referring to the numerous people milling about, looking to rage against the machine. “We’re assuming we’ll camp out for a while.”

Earlier, organizers for Occupy OKC stood by the Kerr Park fountain, which is in front of an amphitheater-like setting amidst downtown Oklahoma City’s towering buildings.

Beth Isbell, a local musician and acting media contact for Occupy OKC approached Red Dirt Report and said no official statements have been offered to the media – yet. Official statements, she said, were being created via democratic “working groups” that had been organized. Isbell reiterated she was not an official spokesperson but could help the media get in touch with the proper spokesperson.

And what are the goals of Occupy OKC? While not entirely clear – the working groups are working on that - they are primarily pro-economic justice and anti-Wall Street greed. There are obviously other issues. One sign called for a real investigation into the 9/11 attacks. And that said, Occupy OKC announced that everyone needs to “take responsibility for what we say.”

Additionally, some Oklahoma City media was on hand, interviewing Occupy OKC folks who were willing to give a name and hometown. James Lane, of WeAreChange Oklahoma, was working the crowd, filming a segment for his group's site.

In the meantime, Red Dirt Report will keep an eye on developments at the downtown Oklahoma City park and we hope to have a more in-depth report in the following days.

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Copyright 2011 West Marie Media

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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