The oil billionaires Charles and David Koch, the heads of Koch Industries, are some of the far right’s biggest funders. They have provided millions of dollars to bankroll causes ranging from school privatization to climate change denialism.
On Saturday, nearly a hundred 99 Percenters in Kansas took their complaints about this corporate influence in democracy directly to the Kochs by marching on the Wichita headquarters of Koch Industries. The demonstrators chanted against special interest influence and income inequality. “I’m tired of 80 percent of the people only having 7 percent of the wealth of this county,” said protester Ramona Becker about why she was there. “We used to all have a fair chance in this country, and that’s not true anymore. The American Dream has gone away. No matter how hard people work, they can’t make it, because there’s only so much money to go around and only a few people have it.” Local news station KAKE filed a video report about the protest. Watch it:
The company responded to the protest with a written statement essentially saying that it was a bad idea to protest Koch Industries simply because it is a large employer in the region: “Rather than protest an American company that employs 50,000 Americans, including more than 2,600 Kansans, we encourage citizens to turn their attention to the burden of excessive government spending, uncontrolled debt and onerous regulations that are crippling our nation.” The company did not respond to protesters’ complaint that the Kochs were using their money to corrupt the political system.