Occupy Topeka is happening, people!
October 12, 2011 § 1 Comment
Did you know that there is an Occupy Topeka protest going on? Me neither, until last night. If the name doesn’t make it obvious, this is an off-shoot Occupy Wall Street, the mega-protest that has been going on since mid-September in New York City. The goal of this protest is, from what I can gather, a showing of support for the Occupy Wall Street movement.
The problem, of course, is that Topekans (and Kansas in general, I think) are notoriously hard to get mobilized. Let’s not forget, that we are the home of Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church. We’re not a bunch to get too riled up.
But we should be. Topeka’s unemployment, according the most recent numbers I can find,* stands at 8.8 percent. That’s lower than the rest of the country, but that’s not great. That’s not even the highest in Kansas. Linn County has 11 percent unemployment, Montgomery Country has 10.6 percent, and Wilson County has 11.2. Many of the cities in Kansas don’t fair much better: Wichita has a 9.0 unemployment rate and Leavenworth has 10.8 percent. And from my purely anecdotal evidence from, you know, living here, it seems like you have to be a nurse/phlebotomist or someone trained in HVAC to work here. (As a side note, what the hell is HVAC?)
What I’m trying to say is that the economic outlook is definitely not rosy here, and people should be upset. The Occupy Topeka protest will be going on from now through Saturday. Even if you have a job, remember this: you are getting fucked in this, too. You paid to bail out banks that are now making record profits. And now what? Look at those unemployment numbers. You probably know someone who is having a hard time getting on their feet. Get out there and show a little support. It’s at 6th and Kansas, next to the Bank of America building. Do it.
*Note: Click “Current Unemployment Rates” on the right hand side. I don’t know how to attach PDFs as links. Back