UPDATE: Another Occupy West Plains rally/protest is scheduled to take place starting 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, on Hwy. 160 West, in front of the Wal-Mart SuperCenter in West Plains.
West Plains, Mo. — A group of about 27 people turned out Friday afternoon for the second Occupy West Plains protest. Protesters were a multi-age mix. Some college students, middle-age and seniors. Many new faces showed up to stand in front of the Bank of America on Porter Wagoner Blvd. in support of the protest that is going on internationally.
Motorists honked in support of the movement and one pulled up to the group and told them “Thank you for having the courage to stand up”.
Talking to the protesters this week found that they were more focused in their criticisms of the establishment. One noted, “It’s a shame corporations continue to post larger profit margins and continue to lay off employees.”
Another quoted Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig to the effect that only .05 per cent of the population can contribute the maximum amount to congressional campaigns. He also talked about recent figures released by the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) that found that between 1997 and ’07 the wealth of the top one percent increased 275 per cent and the rest increased only 18 per cent. That kind of thing is fueling these protests. How far can it go before there is a series of uprisings, he asked.
Another suggested that a nickel should be charged for every Wall Street transaction to help create start-ups and fuel the entrepreneur spirit that has always existed in this country.
This group of protesters are the faces of middle America. Young, old, middle-aged they are concerned that their country has been sold down the river. As one sign said: “No more welfare for Banksters.”
— Caroll Lucas
Photos by Caroll Lucas