Occupy Kansas City Movement Removed from Park Headquarters

Yahoo Contributor Network

Occupy Kansas City was formed in late October in response to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Days after the Occupy Kansas City encampment marked its six-month anniversary, the physical remains of the camping spot were cleared out by city authorities. Penn Valley Park, a prominent landmark south of downtown, was the spot near the Federal Reserve building that protesters chose to use as their base of operations. The Kansas City Star reports there was no physical violence as the camp was cleared out Friday.

Here's a look at why the encampment was forced to move.

* A SWAT team was called in to supervise the eviction of the camp. KCTV states the removal was peaceful.

* Trash crews removed tents and tarps that served as shelters for the Occupy Kansas City protesters. The campers had been told three days before the removal that everything needed to be cleared out.

* A dump truck was used to remove leftover trash. After the tents were cleared out, the only visible signs that shelters even existed in the park were patches of brown grass.

* City official Dennis Gagnon told the Star fewer than six protesters remained on the site. The city arrived noon Tuesday. Anything left on the grounds would be trashed, so anyone still involved with the protest needed to gather personal belongings.

* By the end of the day Friday, only a couple of lawn chairs remained of Occupy Kansas City movement. The high point was a 300-person march held in October.

* Rockfest will be held at Penn Valley Park's Liberty Memorial Mall on May 12. The concert is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Other spring events are coming which is the reason city officials evicted the protesters. Around 50,000 people are expected to attend Rockfest.

* Penn Valley Park houses the National World War I Museum in addition to having several historic ties to the area. The Santa Fe Trail was marked in several places on the grounds of the 134-acre park until the new Federal Reserve Bank was built in 2006.

* Despite the eviction, the Facebook page of Occupy Kansas City stated "we're not going anywhere." The Saturday post has two comments and eight "likes."

* General assembly meetings of Occupy Kansas City were held in the "big tent" as late as March 27 in Penn Valley Park. The main issued talked about at the encampment revolved around what to do with the dome tent on the premises. Plans were also being made for a proposed Occupy May Day movement.

William Browning, a lifelong Missouri resident, writes about local and state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Born in St. Louis, Browning earned his bachelor's degree in English from the University of Missouri. He currently resides in Branson.

View Comments