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Koch | Occupied Stories

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Occupy Caravan, Day 6: Protest at Koch Industries


Editor’s note: This story is part of an on-going series documenting the Occupy Caravan’s journey from California to Philadelphia. This part was originally posted here.

Wichita, KS–Hey guys! So today was a really exciting day. First off, I got to sleep in until around 11am. It was the first time I have been able to sleep in, and it felt wonderful.

The big excitement for us today was the protest we did at Koch Industries. Granted, it was a Saturday, and there was nobody there other than a few security guards, but we did get some honks of support from vehicles that were passing by.

The building that houses Koch Industries, as you can see from the photo above, to me, seemed to be very monolithic. It was this huge, black glassed building, that to me, looked like it came directly from the belly of the beast. We were only on the property for about 10 minutes, before security came out and told us we had to leave and that we were trespassing.

There were 4 security officers that came out to confront us. They told us that we were on “private property,” and that if we refused to leave, they would call the police. Most of the folks who were there in protest stepped back from the property; however, there were a few of us, myself included, who refused to leave. When I asked for the security officer to show me a prominent sign posting that we were on “private property,” they were unable to do so.

Eventually, Wichita Police showed up, and also stated that we were trespassing on “Private Property.” According to Kansas Statute 21-3721 – Criminal Trespass, it states:

 (a) Criminal trespass is:

      (1)   Entering or remaining upon or in any land, nonnavigable body of water, structure, vehicle, aircraft or watercraft, other than railroad property as defined in K.S.A. 21-3761, and amendments thereto, or nuclear generating facility as defined in K.S.A. 2007 Supp. 66-2302, and amendments thereto, by a person who knows such person is not authorized or privileged to do so, and:
      (A)   Such person enters or remains therein in defiance of an order not to enter or to leave such premises or property personally communicated to such person by the owner thereof or other authorized person; or
      (B)   such premises or property are posted in a manner reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders, or are locked or fenced or otherwise enclosed, or shut or secured against passage or entry; or
      (C)   such person enters or remains therein in defiance of a restraining order issued pursuant to K.S.A. 60-1607, 60-3105, 60-3106, 60-3107, 60-31a05 or 60-31a06 or K.S.A. 2007 Supp. 38-2243, 38-2244 or 38-2255, and amendments thereto, and the restraining order has been personally served upon the person so restrained; or
      (2)   entering or remaining upon or in any public or private land or structure in a manner that interferes with access to or from any health care facility by a person who knows such person is not authorized or privileged to do so and such person enters or remains thereon or therein in defiance of an order not to enter or to leave such land or structure personally communicated to such person by the owner of the health care facility or other authorized person.
     
 (b)   As used in this section:
      (1)   “Health care facility” means any licensed medical care facility, certificated health maintenance organization, licensed mental health center, or mental health clinic, licensed psychiatric hospital or other facility or office where services of a health care provider are provided directly to patients.
      (2)   “Health care provider” means any person: (A) Licensed to practice a branch of the healing arts; (B) licensed to practice psychology; (C) licensed to practice professional or practical nursing; (D) licensed to practice dentistry; (E) licensed to practice optometry; (F) licensed to practice pharmacy; (G) registered to practice podiatry; (H) licensed as a social worker; or (I) registered to practice physical therapy.
      
  (c) (1)   Criminal trespass is a class B nonperson misdemeanor.
      (2)   Upon a conviction of a violation of subsection (a)(1)(C), a person shall be sentenced to not less than 48 consecutive hours of imprisonment which must be served either before or as a condition of any grant of probation or suspension, reduction of sentence or parole.
      (d)   This section shall not apply to a land surveyor, licensed pursuant to article 70 of chapter 74 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated, and amendments thereto, and such surveyor’s authorized agents and employees who enter upon lands, waters and other premises in the making of a survey.

I pointed out to the officers who showed up that according to section A, subsection B, that Koch Industries did not have a sign stating that it was private property. When confronted with this information, one of the officers arbitrarily determined what was to be considered the property line for Koch Industries, giving those of us that were protesting and area less than 2 feet from the side of the road.

I’m sorry, but it is getting very late here (1:12AM) and we are taking off early tomorrow. We will be heading to Oklahoma City, OK in the morning, and we are planning on leaving at 8am. I will continue with the recap of the Koch action tomorrow while we are on the road, as well as my regular updates as well.

Until then, I bid you goodnight.

– James Jennison –

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