Occupy Protestors List Concerns for Legislature - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Occupy Protestors List Concerns for Legislature

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

They're a part of Mississippi's Occupy Protest where for the last few months, Smith Park in Downtown Jackson has been headquarters. They're now wrapping up 2011 with a list of concerns for the state's new legislature.

"We discuss issues and we come to consensus," said member Judi Yokum.

Yokum says the group is paying close attention to what's happening in state government and from what members have seen, it's time to get large corporations and special interest groups out.

"There are a lot of abuses going on on all levels. We want our lawmakers to speak the voice and the thoughts of the people and not the highest bidder," said Yokum.

From healthcare and poverty to funding state programs like education and the retirement system, members say the state could be heading in the wrong direction if the issues are not handled correctly.

"Too long the average people, the average citizens have been ignored at the state capitol so we hope that they listen and act on our concerns," said Kathy Sykes with the Unity Caucus.

For too long Yokum says there's been a misconception that the occupy group is a bunch of uneducated, unemployed vagrants who often get a reputation as being not so credible when it comes to state issues, but Yokum says that couldn't be further from the truth.

"We don't want a hand out, we just want what's right to be done," said Yokum.

Members say they'll do whatever it takes to get the legislature to listen and take them seriously when they bring up other issues, like human rights, racial profiling and the right to vote.

"We will lobby to get our issues across just as everyone else. This is only the beginning of a movement to make sure that the people's voice is heard," said Sykes.

The group is also planning to march from Smith Park in downtown to the capitol on the opening day of the legislature which is Tuesday. The march is planned to begin at 10am.

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