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Occupy Wall Street movement spreads to Columbia

Thursday, October 6, 2011 | 5:10 p.m. CDT; updated 1:58 p.m. CDT, Friday, October 7, 2011
Douglas Triplett eats lunch on Thursday in front of the Daniel Boone City Building. On the fourth day of his participation in the Occupy COMO protests, Triplett said "we are here to open eyes."

COLUMBIA — Sleeping bags were stacked on the plaza outside the Daniel Boone City Building on Thursday morning.

A man in a blue and brown tie-dyed shirt swept the ground around the duffles and cleaned up fried chicken and strudel boxes. A half-dozen others held up neon-colored signs at cars driving past.

Other Columbia residents respond to movement


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Posters quoting James Madison and advocating for a government by the people were propped up against the Keys to the City.

People have been demonstrating outside of the Boone Building for about 10 days under the banner of Occupy COMO. The group, which is also tweeting its activity, is part of a movement to support Occupy Wall Street in New York City. The movement, which began in September, is protesting corporate greed and an increasing wealth gap in America. 

Nicholas Berry, 29, self-employed arborist

As of 8:40 a.m. Thursday, Nicholas Berry had been up for more than 24 hours. He arrived at Occupy COMO at 2 a.m. and spent the night talking to media representatives.

He said he’s there because people need to start standing up for their civil rights.

“Everybody is tired of struggling, being broke,” he said. “People want more fairness in our economy.”

Berry said he has $15,000 in student loan debt, and he’s watched his parents, whom he classified as middle class, struggle to make their house payment. His father is a truck driver, and his mother is a janitor for MasterCard.

Meanwhile, he said, the government is dumping money into wars and has granted the same rights to corporations as to private individuals.

“We want our country back,” he said and equated it to “your car taking off without you.”

Berry said he isn’t politically affiliated and that advocating for more than two political parties is part of what Occupy COMO is about. Having more parties would offer “more ideals,” he said.

The Occupy COMO group will stay indefinitely, Berry said, but he’s certain there will be a catalyst at some point that will give the movement more traction.

“People have just gotten too comfortable,” he said. 

Douglas Triplett, 30, unemployed

Douglas Triplett said he’s been waiting for this for 15 years.

“A bunch” of ancient cultures and the Bible predicted what Triplett called this “awakening of a conscience mind.”

The Mayan culture wasn’t prophesying the end of the world in 2012, Triplett said, but the beginning of a new era. Similarly, the Bible teaches there will be one world government, monetary system and religion, he said, and he believes this is it.

Triplett, who is “houseless,” has been at Occupy COMO for three days.

He’s there he said because he’s frustrated by the corporate takeover of countries. Triplett said it’s not the president or Congress running the country but the people who have the most money. He said there were 487 people and families controlling the world’s wealth, but it’s 486 now, because Steve Jobs died.

“Open your freaking eyes,” Triplett said. “It’s there.”

Derek Sechrist, 36, unemployed

Derek Sechrist is protesting outside City Hall for “a thousand reasons.”

Revenue laws, the prison management business and lack of government transparency are just a few of the reasons Sechrist has spent the past week with Occupy COMO.

Sechrist, a self-described constitutionalist, has been unable to find a job he said because he lacks identification. He hopes that Occupy COMO is able to spark conversation and social change.

“I’m just trying to express awareness,” Sechrist said. “We want true change.”

Sechrist said he feels as if the government is more interested in looking after corporations than its people.

“What we want is the people to acknowledge us,” Sechrist said, adding that he will continue to occupy the space outside the city building for “as long as it takes.”

Jacob “Donnie” Morris, 18, unemployed

Jacob “Donnie” Morris is no stranger to sleeping outside.

But Wednesday night was the first time he did so to make a social statement.

“I’m here to help out,” Morris said. “I can relate to those who are trying their hardest to make money.”

Morris has been homeless for about a month and has no job. A high school drop-out, he moved out of his family home to try to ease some of the financial pressures caused by his presence.

“I just figured if I could take myself out and support myself, it would be easier on my dad,” Morris said.

Morris said he doesn’t have a political viewpoint, but he wants the government to lower taxes for the middle class. He said he doesn’t want the middle class to fear losing their homes.

Morris said he’ll continue protesting as long as he needs to — “until the government realizes we, the people, want more things to support ourselves.”

Jeff Reed, 30, unemployed

Jeff Reed of Moberly lost his job in sales last week. He joined Occupy COMO for the first time Thursday.

“I’ve never been in this situation before and I’m scared," Reed said. "But most of all, I’m inspired."

Reed, secretary of the Randolph County Democrats, describes himself as a progressive. He said that he will continue to support Occupy COMO for as long as he can when he’s not busy looking for a job.

Reed said he wants people to be more aware and more involved. He said the occupation movement is about “getting people together now and figuring it out as we go along.”

“For the most part, it’s just to get people engaged again,” Reed said.

Reed said the biggest issue affecting Americans today is joblessness.

“We need to put people back to work,” he said.


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Comments

Derrick Fogle October 6, 2011 | 8:09 p.m.

Do they need any Hacky Sack entertainment? I've even got the 'Bernie Sanders Hair' look going in honor of #occupywallstreet.

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks October 6, 2011 | 10:55 p.m.

If these people are not careful they might just get what they are asking for. Then who will save them?

(Report Comment)
Melinda Lockwood October 7, 2011 | 7:58 a.m.

Can never get over what a wonderful country we live in where people can protest their (or someone else's) cause. If this was Poland, they would not be on the street. They would have been taken away by the police and locked up. We tend to forget how good this country is. That being said, I'm sorry but I don't owe an 18-year-old drop out anything. He could go back to school, get a part-time job and start over - al-la-Herman Cain who didn't get where he is today standing on a street corner. These folks who are well-meaning are just pawns and they don't even know it.

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks October 7, 2011 | 8:29 a.m.

The funny thing about those that want anarchy is the fact that the majority of them would not last more then a week in a world they strive for.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith October 7, 2011 | 8:35 a.m.

Yes, folks, but look at the positive side: maybe there will be this added entertainment for MU's 100th Homecoming.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire October 7, 2011 | 9:45 a.m.

"Can never get over what a wonderful country we live in where people can protest their (or someone else's) cause. If this was Poland, they would not be on the street. They would have been taken away by the police and locked up. We tend to forget how good this country is."

If we get a few more like you worming their way into the various local governments then I'm sure that's exactly what they would be looking forward to.

"That being said, I'm sorry but I don't owe an 18-year-old drop out anything."

I didn't see anyone ask you for anything.

"These folks who are well-meaning are just pawns and they don't even know it."

Your earlier statements support this? Does anything support this? (other than your angry knee jerk reaction, the type that would need to be stretched to be a two second sound bite...)Who is pulling their strings? How would YOU have them play?

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush October 7, 2011 | 9:46 a.m.

Mocking what you don't
Understand reveals your own
Insecurities.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush October 7, 2011 | 9:51 a.m.

Not putting yourself
Into another person's
Shoes, shows who you are.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush October 7, 2011 | 9:58 a.m.

They are the other
Ninety-nine percent. Chances
Are that you are, too.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush October 7, 2011 | 10:04 a.m.

To dismiss others'
Experiences, creates
False security.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush October 7, 2011 | 10:17 a.m.

Fear restricts progress.
Don't wallow in the past. The
Future is for all.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush October 7, 2011 | 10:34 a.m.

Wall Street has purchased
Puppet politicians - don't
Defend the banksters.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle October 7, 2011 | 11:01 a.m.

I really would hack
with these guys and for their cause
against whatever.

(Report Comment)
Alison Matas October 7, 2011 | 11:50 a.m.

Hi, my name is Alison Matas, and I am one of the reporters who worked on this story. I’d like to thank you for keeping the conversation going and invite you to share what this movement means to you by sending us an email at news@ColumbiaMissourian.com.

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm October 7, 2011 | 11:56 a.m.

Melinda,

Concerning your comment on Poland,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOU_Fhh29...

No one was taken away or beaten. The police in NYC could learn a thing or two about freedom, liberty, and respect for citizens from the Polish.

It is not the 1950s anymore; the Cold War is long over. Instead of spouting off nonsense over topics that you are obviously misinformed and uneducated on you should try expanding your mind and intellect. Maybe venture out and visit some of these foreign countries to get a new perspective instead of just taking what Fox News feeds you as truth without any checking. The rest of the Western world is passing us by in almost every measurable metric. Meanwhile, we are stuck fighting the Cold War mentalities of Americans who are either to afraid and weak or lack the cognitive abilities to grasp the 21st century world.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor October 7, 2011 | 11:57 a.m.

we are entitled
return our country to us
we are owed more stuff

(Report Comment)
mike mentor October 7, 2011 | 12:02 p.m.

why should it be you
who should bear any fruit of
anothers labor

(Report Comment)
mike mentor October 7, 2011 | 12:18 p.m.

@Melinda
Don't worry about Jack jumping your case. He just said that Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Belize, Panama, Nicaragua, Columbia, Venezuela, Guyana, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cuba are all passing us by in almost every measurable metric. Guess they need to teach you a little about fact checking before spouting off over there at CNN, huh. Also, momma needs to remind you about people who live in glass houses...

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire October 7, 2011 | 12:32 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
Jack Hamm October 7, 2011 | 12:48 p.m.
(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm October 7, 2011 | 12:52 p.m.

What conservatives and their "trickle down (see voodoo) economics" have done for us...

http://i.imgur.com/SYv4N.jpg

(Report Comment)
mike mentor October 7, 2011 | 1:35 p.m.

Sorry boys... Your brainstorm barely managed to form a wispy cloud...

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire October 7, 2011 | 2:30 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
Jack Hamm October 7, 2011 | 2:54 p.m.

Mike,

Did I really say that or are you misinterpreting what I said to further your point of view? What I said was the Western world, which also includes England, Germany, Norway, Sweden, etc. When you talk about the U.S. do you only mention East St Louis, South Central LA and Detroit? manipulating and distorting points of view is no way to have a rational and mature conversation about our society. I kindly ask that you act more maturely and drop the underhanded tactics. This is a forum for grownups to discuss issues in their community; not for children to bicker and take cheap shots at others.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor October 7, 2011 | 2:56 p.m.

@Paul
let's play a game I learned on Seseme Street way back when.
It's called, "One of these things is not like the other".
See if you can figure out which of these three is not like the other...

1. Paul
2. Jack
3. Melinda

Well, I guess I have to help you. Melinda is traditionally a girls name and thus would not fit in with the boys names and thus would not be addressed as "boys"...

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire October 7, 2011 | 3:16 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
mike mentor October 7, 2011 | 3:21 p.m.

@jack (and after this I am done with you boys...)

You said, when taking a cheap shot at another poster like a bickering child, "The rest of the Western world is passing us by in almost every measurable metric."
When you say the rest of, you are saying the rest of. This includes all of the Countries I mentioned. If you meant western europe you should have said it. If you meant Germany and Sweden you should have said that. But alas, you said the rest of the western world. So, next time you try and jump down another posters throat, maybe you should think about it for a minute and make sure your post isn't exactly what you are complaining about.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor October 7, 2011 | 3:30 p.m.

I can't beleive the omnipotent Paul got censored...
Yeah !

@poster police... (and I mean that kindly...)

Please feel free to delete my comments as well. I try to avoid this kind of thing, but it's Friday and I might have a little friday-itis...

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire October 7, 2011 | 3:51 p.m.

I believe that the average person's standard of living, by any definition, is improving, in most of the countries you just named, at a much faster rate than it is improving here. It is only a matter of time.

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks October 7, 2011 | 10:28 p.m.

I just like the fact that the US is in a rush to follow in Europe's foot steps yet they are slowly and in some cases quickly switching to the ways of America to get out of the policies that are crushing their counties. Of course the power that be around here are to stubborn to watch the cues.

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson October 7, 2011 | 10:46 p.m.

Frances Fox Piven: "You don't need to follow anybody! You're all individuals!" Crowd: "You don't need to follow anybody! You're all individuals!" Absolutely hilarious. This could be a Python skit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsK2WeO7V...

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush October 8, 2011 | 4:22 p.m.

If you've never heard
Of the People's Microphone,
It could seem silly.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush October 8, 2011 | 4:25 p.m.

The world is bigger
Than you. Some understand this.
Scorners just throw stones.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush October 8, 2011 | 4:29 p.m.

Liberty without
Justice is a chaotic
Free-for-all of greed.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush October 8, 2011 | 4:40 p.m.

In feudal times, the
Complict vassals over -
Looked the sovereign's crimes.

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson October 8, 2011 | 9:18 p.m.

Haikus sound better
When mindlessly repeated
Like Piven's drivel.

Crowd: "Haikus sound better
When mindlessly repeated
Like Piven's drivel."

Now, just the ladies:

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson October 8, 2011 | 9:39 p.m.

Lefties seem surprised
That wit and satire are not
Their monopoly.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle October 8, 2011 | 9:53 p.m.

Mister Robertson:
That will be enough of that.
Thank you very much.

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson October 8, 2011 | 10:14 p.m.

In the Land of The
Haiku, the eighteen-syllabled
Man is king, you know.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking October 9, 2011 | 3:34 a.m.

Unemployed dropouts
Should remember - Bad choices have
Bad consequences.

DK

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking October 9, 2011 | 6:04 a.m.

Change "remember" to "take heed".

I've been playing bass since about 1973, so I *should* have a well-developed sense of rhythm.

"He said there were 487 people and families controlling the world’s wealth, but it’s 486 now, because Steve Jobs died."

If all the people I can think of that among the world's wealthiest, I can't think of anyone that deserves it more than Steve Jobs.

Successful people are seldom successful because they are evil or dishonest. The Bernie Madoff's of the world should go to prison. The Steve Jobs' of the world should be considered role models.

DK

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith October 9, 2011 | 6:51 a.m.

Free! Free!
A trip to Mars!
For 40,000
Empty jars (of Burma-Shave)

[From actual 1950s Burma-Shave road sign.)

Insert that in your haiku.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking October 9, 2011 | 7:29 a.m.

Redistributing
Legally earned wealth is not
Justice nor freedom.

DK

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush October 9, 2011 | 8:24 a.m.

Neither illness nor
Injury are choices. But
Compassion is one.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush October 9, 2011 | 8:40 a.m.

Arrogance thinks you
Know another's story, and
Discounts privilege.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith October 9, 2011 | 8:44 a.m.

Pa was so tickled
Ma thought he was pickled.
He'd just tried...
Burma-Shave!

(No doubt popular with haiku hillbillies.)

(Report Comment)
mike mentor October 10, 2011 | 4:25 p.m.

@Mark & Gregg
Great post about Steve Jobs. You could also throw in a thought about Bill Gates. Bill made more cash than he knew what to do with. So, what did he do? He decided to set up a charity to help those less fortunate. Too bad he didn't have to pay that extra money to the government in the way of rich mans taxes as it seems Gregg would want. Then instead of having a charity that helps people all over the world with a 35 billion dollar endowment, we could have had the politicians du jour decide who is going to help them get elected next and give out the money to them...

@Ellis
funny stuff... I was getting concerned when you were telling them to insert that in your, but then you said haiku...

(Report Comment)
Christina Hearon October 11, 2011 | 10:56 a.m.

Concerning:

Can never get over what a wonderful country we live in where people can protest their (or someone else's) cause. If this was Poland, they would not be on the street. They would have been taken away by the police and locked up. We tend to forget how good this country is. That being said, I'm sorry but I don't owe an 18-year-old drop out anything. He could go back to school, get a part-time job and start over - al-la-Herman Cain who didn't get where he is today standing on a street corner. These folks who are well-meaning are just pawns and they don't even know it.

It's because of where we live and others who came before us that we can stand up for what we believe is right, now. No, Cain didn't get where he is today because he stood on a street corner--but he did because someone somewhere did. Someone protested for his rights long before he was born. Someone was paid minimum wage and given no health benefits so his business could prosper. So don't use Cain and others like him to support your cause, i.e. argument. These people out there are no one's pawns--at least not any longer. They are fed up and tired of the status quo. And at least they are doing something about it. Anyone with a brain able to critically evaluate information they receive knows that our country and society is built upon economic policies that favor a small percentage of individuals. No one citizen can induce change on their own--it is going to require a movement like this to engender that sort of change. Guess that makes the protesters smarter than you... They know what they are doing.

(Report Comment)
Christina Hearon October 11, 2011 | 11:40 a.m.

Because conservatives love to claim they are the most righteous and most laborious among us:

James 5:4
Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.

Colossians 4:1
Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven.

Proverbs 22:16
He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

Proverbs 11:1
A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is His delight.

We must All remember that context is everything. Having said that,this movement is NOT about 99% of the population wanting to steal the wealth of the 1%. Please don't say that. They just want a balance in the economic policies that shape this nation.

Also, we need to keep in mind that if poverty is accompanied by physical dangers, prosperity is accompanied by spiritual dangers. God will often move us through both for the purpose of testing us.

(Report Comment)

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