Occupy KC marchers take message to downtown sidewalks

Members of the Occupy KC movement made a loud, spirited and peaceful march through downtown Kansas City on Friday.

To the accompaniment of drums and other musical instruments, between 150 and 200 people took part in a New Orleans-style jazz funeral march signifying the death of the social safety net.

Denied a permit to walk in the streets because they could not afford to pay for the police protection required by the city, the marchers kept to the sidewalks — for the most part — during the 90-minute event.

Police presence was minimal, with only a couple of squad cars shadowing the marchers. Marchers’ occasional forays off the sidewalk brought short siren whoops from police as reminders.

Chanting “Social Security is under attack” and vowing to “fight back,” marchers started from a park at 12th and Walnut streets and made their way to the federal office building at 12th and Locust streets and to the Bank of America offices at 12th and Main streets before finishing back at the starting point.

Some carried black coffins with the words “RIP Medicaid” and “RIP Medicare” written on them. Others carried signs like “Capitalism is the crisis” and “That stuff trickling down on you isn’t money.”

Tony Rizzo, trizzo@kcstar.com