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Occupy Wichita Protesters Speak Out on School Funding & Other Issues, One Arrested

Art Credit: KC Education Enterprise | 123rf stock image

Occupy Wichita disrupted a town hall meeting sponsored by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback yesterday. Among other issues, protesters spoke out on behalf of public education, criticizing the governor for slashing school funding. Police arrested one protester, who was later released.

Reducing childhood poverty was the topic of the town hall meeting, and the speaker was Robert Rector, a senior research fellow with the conservative Heritage Foundation. According to Rector, the way to reduce the number of children living in poverty is to increase the number of married parents. He delivered a similar talk earlier this week in Kansas City, Kan., and another presentation is scheduled for this afternoon in Garden City. Kansas’ Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services is sponsoring Rectors’ speeches.

During the town hall meeting in Wichita, protesters stood up and used the Occupy Movement’s people’s microphone — in which one person speaks and the others repeat, amplifying the message — to speak out against various state actions, including funding cuts for public education. Although the audio is largely intelligible, you can view a video of yesterday’s protest on YouTube:

Following the protest, Wichita police arrested one protester, Doris Gent. You can view a video of her arrest on YouTube, as well:

A Kansas Health Institute reporter, Lori Lineberger, has posted a photo of the arrest: http://www.khi.org/photos/2011/nov/16/1152/

Wichita police department records show that they arrested Gent yesterday at 3:40 p.m. and charged her with obstruction of justice and resisting arrest.

On her Facebook page, Gent says she is not guilty of either charge and plans to seek legal counsel.

For more information on Rector’s speech at the town hall meeting in Kansas City, click here: http://tinyurl.com/6nv3dvl

The Wichita Eagle-Beacon carried a story about yesterday’s protest: http://tinyurl.com/7raavwb

For more information on The Heritage Foundation, click here: http://tinyurl.com/83ofy94

About jwmartinez

JoLynne is a journalist and educator. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Park University and is certified to teach high school journalism and English. Former employment includes work for Cable News Network and the University of Missouri-Kansas City in addition to freelancing for clients such as the Kansas City Star and The Pitch.


One thought on “Occupy Wichita Protesters Speak Out on School Funding & Other Issues, One Arrested

  1. I absolutely cannot support Brownback and his Catholic agenda. I heard him give the graduation speech for Benedictine when my daughter graduated in May. He bashed single parents. This single parent was ticked off!!!!! I have no respect for the man and what he’s doing to ruin public education in Kansas.

    Posted by Janet Reynolds | November 17, 2011, 10:03 pm

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