May Day Brings Occupy COMO to City Hall

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COLUMBIA - More than 15 people protested outside City Hall on Tuesday in celebration of International Workers' Day.

Occupy COMO went on strike for a day and held signs and banners while speaking out against corporate greed. The movement is focused on improving social and economic inequalities such as wage gaps, labor rights and money's role in politics.

"Corporations are not paying their fair share, people are losing their jobs and they're pinning workers against each other, " said Occupy COMO protestor Shari Korthuis.

"I know how the economy is working for the 1 percent and the .001 percent, and I know how it's working for the rest of us. It's not," explained Korthuis.

Steps away from Occupy COMO, Mid-Missouri Patriots held a counter-protest. Group member Fred Derry claimed all Americans are born with equal opportunity and equal rights.

"Anybody in the United States is born with equal opportunity and they all have the same rights. We don't all have the same expectations, which has to do a lot with education, hard work and character," said Derry.

A member of the occupy movement fired back at the conflicting protestors.

"We have equal rights under the law, but we don't all have the same opportunity," said Andrew Christiano.

Christiano graduated from the University of Missouri in 2011. He majored in English and Poetry and has had trouble finding a job for one year.

"It's very hard to find a job. You think of the American dream of graduating from college and finding a job, but it's not that easy. A lot of graduates feel cheated," said Christiano.

International Workers' Day has traditionally been held May 1st to commemorate the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago. That historical strike set the stage for decades of change in labor rights.