News / USA

Caucus Protesters Target Republican Candidates

Kane Farabaugh

As Republican presidential candidates cross the Midwestern state of Iowa before the January 3rd caucus, they are greeted by supporters and demonstrators at campaign events.  Police arrested scores during so-called Occupy the Caucus protests in the week before the nation's first event in this year's presidential election process.

Political science student Jessica Reznicek considers herself a career activist. “You really have to care about what you are doing and really being O.K. with not receiving any money in return, it is a lot of dedication and enthusiasm," she said.

Her dedication was on display outside Republican presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann’s campaign headquarters in suburban Des Moines. “You have to go there and you have to put your voices and your bodies on the line, and make a statement wherever that candidate is and say that we are more important than him or her," she said.

Occupy the Caucus protesters traveled by bus to Bachmann’s office to protest corporate political campaign influence. When protesters ignored warnings they were trespassing, police moved in and arrested 10.

Reznicek never had a chance to air her concerns to Bachmann; the congresswoman stayed inside her campaign headquarters.  

It was the latest in a series of protests by Occupy the Caucus that ended in much the same way, protesters making their way to candidate offices, only to leave by police car. “We are just trying to open the conversation, and if that means some of my friends get arrested to get the reporters here, then that is what they will do," says  Dutch Ruisch.

Dutch Ruisch says one tactic of the Occupy movement during the Iowa caucuses is to use the increased media presence to draw politicians into debate about the protesters' issues. “I cannot afford $1,000 a plate to hear some candidates speak," he said. "Why do candidates not listen to us because we do not have the money?”

Despite the arrests on the campaign trail, Occupy the Caucus protesters say they have no intention of disrupting the January 3rd Caucus.

“We will not disrupt the caucus at all.  We respect the privilege and the right that Americans have to vote," said Ruisch.

Ruish says the anger of the Occupy movement is not solely targeted at Republicans.  They also targeted the offices of Democratic lawmakers in Iowa. “We are pretty disgusted with Obama," he said. "He promised 'hope,' he promised 'change.'  What has he done?

Ruisch says more than 1,000 people have participated in Occupy events in the past several days, and he expects more protesters in Des Moines before Republican voters gather Tuesday to choose their favorite candidate.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs