OccupySTL Protesters Vow To Continue Downtown Rally

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Photos: Chad Garrison
OccupySTL protesters greet Cardinals fans last night near Kiener Plaza.
Daily RFT didn't stick around long enough last night to see the police issue citations to protesters occupying Kiener Plaza in downtown St. Louis. In hindsight, we're glad we didn't. It would've been a long wait.

When we visited Kiener Plaza around 8 p.m. last night, a dozen or so protesters stood at the corner of 7th and Market showing off their handmade signs to baseball fans pouring out of nearby Busch Stadium. Among the messages displayed on the signs: "Revolution Now!" and "End Corporate Bribes!" A few feet away, in the amphitheatre in Kiener Plaza, a group of around 50 like-minded folks sat near tents listening to OccupySTL organizers rally the troops.

Not far away, five uniformed police officers stood watching.

The cops told Daily RFT that they were waiting for their captain to make a decision on whether or not to enforce the park's 10 p.m. curfew for the first time since the protesters began camping out in Kiener Plaza on Saturday.

"They've been pretty peaceful, so the decision was made to let them carry on the last couple of days," one of the boys in blue told us. "Still, the curfew is something that is enforceable."

According to OccupySTL's blog, police finally swooped in around 5 a.m. today with some 15 police cars arriving on the scene and issuing a half-dozen citations. Protesters re-entered the park when it opened at 6 a.m.

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Ryan LeClair has been protesting since Saturday.
Ryan LeClair, one of the OccupySTL organizers, told Daily RFT last night that the police have been "fantastic" so far.

"They're part of the 99 percent of the population who we're out here for," says LeClair, a 27-year-old English and history major at UMSL. "They understand that this is about them as well."

But what, exactly, is OccupySTL about? That depends whom you ask.

LeClair says the movement here, like the Occupy Wall Street that inspired it, is about wresting control of government from corporations and giving it back to the people.

"People feel exploited and they're uniting," he says. "They don't feel it's right that the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans control so much of the nation's wealth and power."

It's unfair to call OccupySTL an anti-Tea Party movement because it's attracted people from all political stripes, says LeClair. An anti-greed movement may be more appropriate -- be it political, economic or environmental in ignoring climate change data.

In speeches last night, several of the organizers compared the movement to the peaceful protests in Tunisia and Egypt this past spring that ushered in regime change.

The obstacle, admits LeClair, is that the Arab protests had an easily defined goal of bringing down a dictator. The Occupy movement has yet to come up with a list of official objectives, but here is how LeClair sees them: 1) Get lawmakers to reform the current system, or 2) Scrap the nation's current economic model for something that's more egalitarian.

The protest continues today at Kiener Plaza, and according to organizers, will last as long as it takes.

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OccupySTL says it's movement has grown each day. These women came out for their first time last night.


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Tents occupy Kiener Plaza on Tuesday night.



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40 comments
drhowarddrfine
drhowarddrfine

I talked to a few via twitter in NY and SF. Not one of them has ever worked with a political candidate or party, doesn't like any candidate or party, and few have ever voted. My suggestion that they take their hundreds of followers and support one of those is laughed at as a terrible idea that will never work. When asked what they then intended to do, I get no response. And in all that is my description: anarchy at worst, clueless at best.

Guest
Guest

The Occupy Protests should be every bit as much about permanently ending jewish supremacy as about Wall Street Corruption as the two are directly related to each other.

Michelle
Michelle

I am thrilled to see that OStL is still out at Kiener Plaza.  Keep up the good work, guys!  Hang in there!

Buysellrepeat
Buysellrepeat

What a bunch of idiots! I am a middle class guy seeking to attain my fortune and I realize it was really up to me, and my choices made in life so far and it is not right to blame someone else whom has made it. I have a few friends whom are millionaires and they buckled down in school, went to college right away and sacrificed some fun back then so they can have thiers now, and because I partied more and didn't get my degree till late in life, I know they- my friends, the government or anybody else do not "owe" me a damn thing! These loosers need to use the system to fight the right way. Support a canidate for his complete package of views, not cause he promises you some crap about hope or change. Ask them to draft laws, regulations that are fare and not filled with loopholes, if they do not, start a grassroots petition drive yourself! The problem in the good ol USA is only about 67% of Americans are registered to vote and only 52-60% of them actually do vote and most people only follow a specific issue or talking point, not the whole package! In short, we got exactly what we voted for or did not vote for! Quit whining and step up to the real plate!

Adam Woehler
Adam Woehler

To those who would criticize the protesters, we congradulate you on all your success. You have no need to educate yourself on what is going on in our country today. Some stats on the successful class warfare against the middle class:

•    83 percent of all U.S. stocks are in the hands of 1 percent of the people. •   61 percent of Americans "always or usually" live paycheck to paycheck,which was up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.•    66 percent of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans.•    36 percent of Americans say that they don't contribute anything to retirement savings.•    A staggering 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved up for retirement.•    24 percent of American workers say that they have postponed their planned retirement age in the past year.•    Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a 32 percent increase over 2008.•   Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additionalincome to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.•    For thefirst time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residentialhousing net worth in the United States than all individual Americansput together.•    In 1950, the ratio of the average executive'spaycheck to the average worker's paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since theyear 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to one.•    As of 2007, the bottom 80 percent of American households held about 7% of the liquid financial assets.•   The bottom 50 percent of income earners in the United States nowcollectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.•    Average Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008.•    In the United States, the average federal worker now earns 60% MORE than the average worker in the private sector.•    The top 1 percent of U.S. households own nearly twice as much of America's corporate wealth as they did just 15 years ago.•    In America today, the average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks.•   More than 40 percent of Americans who actually are employed are nowworking in service jobs, which are often very low paying.•    orthe first time in U.S. history, more than 40 million Americans are onfood stamps, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects thatnumber will go up to 43 million Americans in 2011.•    This is whatAmerican workers now must compete against: in China a garment workermakes approximately 86 cents an hour and in Cambodia a garment workermakes approximately 22 cents an hour.•    Approximately 21 percentof all children in the United States are living below the poverty linein 2010 - the highest rate in 20 years.•    Despite the financialcrisis, the number of millionaires in the United States rose a whopping16 percent to 7.8 million in 2009.•    The top 10 percent of Americans now earn around 50 percent of our national income. 

Kristie
Kristie

Stay strong protesters!  You're probably going to read some idiotic critical comments here and elsewhere, but reading some of those kinds of comments about occupywallstreet was what first inspired me to come to Kiener Plaza, and it will inspire others as well.

KittyLitterKing
KittyLitterKing

Unfortunately, last night, STL's finest were not citing drunk, shirtless Hoosiers who were screaming obscenities and kicking cars south of the Stadium, either.

HWL
HWL

I will go ahead and set forth objectives for Ryan LeClair.  They are:1) graduate college, and2) get a fucking job.

Sol_Goldbergenstein
Sol_Goldbergenstein

At the base of this revolution is stomping out ugly vile jewish supremacy, once and for all. This includes ending the brainwashing of entire generations of Americans to feel guilt for the greatest scam ever engineered on mankind - the holyhoax, To think that six million jews could be killed using bug spray without leaving any trace is so obnxious as to be a crime itself but to use that for decades to extort trillions of dollars from multiple nations is a crime against humanity. jewish supremacy is marked for extinction and all efforts should be supported in full by non-jewish populations.

ihatesuburbs
ihatesuburbs

Oh goody, a Charlie Chaplin character has chimed in!

steve
steve

losers has one "o" in it. 

tuffguy
tuffguy

One quick thought.  The government does too much.  The wealth imbalance is a problem.  Eventually it boils over into violence.  It is a scary thought that we could have a mobocracy rise up against corporations owned by individuals as shares.  The whole country is a mess and no one wants to deal with the real issues.  Everything is designed to benefit the elites.  I am very stable, middle class...but I can see what the problem is.  It is all government doing too much.  One example then I am gone: Food Stamps-Give irresponsible, low income people productive Americans' taxpayer cash in the form of an EBT Card and they spend it on the worst, least nutritious food that they can find.  They make more poor choices and corporate food giants profit.  Who was helped by food stamps?  Corporations.  Once again, the government transferring money from me to a giant corporation in the form of junk food bought to feed little kids.  Government needs to make people take care of themselves, but that would hurt their corporate masters.  Everything that the government does picks a winner and creates a loser.  We have to stop calling it "picking winners and losers" and start calling it "picking winners and creating losers".  It's up to us to vote.

RisenPeople
RisenPeople

Do you know anything about economics or a free economy? You state all of this as if someone puposely did this to all of these people.  You sound alot like the Bolsevics and the National Socialists of Germany.

So what is your solution?

Wasichu47
Wasichu47

That about says it all Adam. IssaRacket, the solution is to reclaim our government since right now, it's been bought and paid for. Doing away with  Citizen's United  would be a start.

battleshipbismark1957
battleshipbismark1957

Add to the list the destruction of Main Street small businesses by Big Box corporations such as Home Depot and Walmart.

IssaRacket
IssaRacket

Very cogent points Adam...but what is your solution?  Sad to say but the statistics you just rattled off are not much different today than they would have been 50, 200, 500, 1000, or 3000 years ago.  Every political idea or philosophical solution to broadly solving the problem of the widening rich and poor gap has been a complete and abject failure (communism, communalism, charity, religion, etc.) or subject to the slow entropic crawl of time.  The only solution that seems to work with more success is violent revolution against the people with the money and power, but typically ends up in the winners being even worse. I’m saying is that if someone stingy has everything and you have nothing, in the course of human events there have been pitifully few good options for putting them in a giving mood short of taking it by force or the fear of doing so.  I imagine wall-street types and the super-rich often see these protests and think the same thing, “What are they gonna do about it?”  After all they control the jobs, the political system, make themselves immune from market forces (i.e. bailout) and the means of mobility and monopoly of violence in some cases. I challenge the Keiner Plaza and Wall-Street protesters and the nation to really think hard about what they could be doing different to provide a surprising response to that question.  They have no fear, and until they do, they won’t be in the giving vein.

genejordan
genejordan

I will go ahead and set forth objectives for "HWL".  They are:1) stop hiding behind a shill name online, coward2) deliver your "objectives" to Ryan LeClair and the other protesters in person.That is unless you are too much of a coward to get off of your backside, come down to Kiener Plaza yourself instead of trolling comments on the articles of the RFT website.

Liz Laventure
Liz Laventure

The way this economy is now, both objectives are remote possibilities for 99% of us. and HWL, we are fighting for the future, not for selfish objectives like the CEOs, and apparently, you!

Adam Woehler
Adam Woehler

Unless you are one of the people who can pick up a phone and get a senator on the other end of the line, this Occupy movement is for you.

Chas
Chas

Why do you guys pay attention to this troll?

tuffguy
tuffguy

Dude,

You are a trip!  I wonder if the protesters even know what the heck you are talking about.  It would be incredible if they really were all there for that purpose.  Do you really think that what you are saying has any relevance to these kids?  They are a bunch of dimwitted communists.  Marx was fervently anti-Jewish, so you could be right.  I think that these kids are just mad that life isn't easy.  I guess, like Hitler, you have to blame someone.

Sol Goldbergenstein
Sol Goldbergenstein

Charlie Chaplin was a jew.

I'm through putting up with jewish supremacy and you should be too!

Tor
Tor

The reason why those " irresponsible, low income people" get food stamps in the first place is because the economy is such that jobs that would pay them a decent salary w/ benefits are few and far between, they cannot afford to go back to school, and thus are forced to work jobs for meager, or minimum wage with no benefits. How the hell are you going to get off of food stamps when ONE person cannot live on minimum wage, let alone an entire family. The ONLY thing that these "irresponsible" people receive from "productive Americans' taxpayer cash" is an EBT Card that they can ONLY purchase food items with, and are not given that much on it at all. The reason WHY "they spend it on the worst, least nutritious food that they can find." and "make more poor choices and corporate food giants profit." is that REAL food is expensive as hell! Have you seen the prices of fresh fruits and vegetables lately? You can buy a crate of Cup O' Noodles for what they charge for carrots! With a family to feed and little to do it with, these individuals are forced to make poorer food choices so that they and their families can eat EVERY day for the month! They don't set the food prices. Most mothers would LOVE their kids to get a balanced meal but they can't afford to. Now who makes these food price determinations? I don't see any rich local farmers out there making a killing on the price of milk. I don't see the guy stocking the shelves driving a Mercedes. Government makes the regulations, only major corporations receive the profits which they in turn "finance" or "lobby" politicians as a form of legal bribery. The poor didn't create the government, the government created the poor.

RisenPeople
RisenPeople

What keeps any business from doing what Wal-Mart or other companies do? Afterall Sam Walton was just a small business owner when he started. 

Gene
Gene

When the British tyranny over the colonies in America was at it's worst, and a few men decided to sit down and talk about what they could do about it - before they actually took any action or did anything - I'm sure some colonist told those men the same thing.  Those men went on to write the Declaration of Independence and eventually to start the revolution against such tyranny.  You shouldn't downplay the protest because it lacks action so far, the Declaration of Independence as we know it wasn't written in a few hours time and neither was the Constitution.  These protest are not a call out to the 1%, but are a wake up call for the other 99% and there isn't a snooze button on this alarm clock!  So, wake up from your "Matrix" and stop eating that fake steak in America.  The reality is that a country, we are heading in the wrong direction and when we reach the destination, 99% of us at the bottom aren't going to like what we find there.  Guess who was doing the driving?

drhowarddrfine
drhowarddrfine

occupystl's web site hides behind a proxy domain service. You can't find out who they are.

RisenPeople
RisenPeople

If you expect the government to fix all of your problems then this movement is for you. If you believe in freedom and self reliance then this movement is not for you.

Live_Free
Live_Free

Marx, Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin were all jews as were most of the Bolsheviks. Why do you think they murdered 28 Million Christians in Cold Blood? Why do you think Hitler tried to drive them off the continent?

Guest
Guest

I *am* through with it, and I'm going to keep whining on the internet until something's done about it!

steve
steve

A Charlie Chaplin "character". Dumb-ass.

tuffguy
tuffguy

We agree on much.  But, then we ARE talking about the actual problems.  People sell their EBT card cash to others to get actual cash all the time.  They make poor choices because they want to.  I can feed my family healthy meals for a week on $50.  And that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.  A  lot of the folks with EBTs only need to feed their kids dinner and breakfast, schools take care of the rest...and sometimes breakfast, too.  So the hunger only afford junk food argument is false.  Corporate farms get rich.  The Federal Gov't. mandated ethanol and drove up the price of corn and created an incentive to plant it instead of soybeans or wheat, thus driving up food cost across the board.  Government DOES TOO MUCH!  Cows eat grain.  Grain is more expensive when there is less of it.  Corn takes up space where grain can grow.  Beef and milk get more expensive when grain gets more expensive.  No free market here.  Government picked the winner and made us all losers.  The guy stocking shelves will slowly move up the ladder.  That's how it works.

One last thing...I have a friend who's girlfriend is on foodstamps (they live together, he has a job, but eats better than I do using her EBT).  I asked him why she doesn't get a job(She is a trained low-end medical person).  He told me that after paying for child care, losing their foodstamps and medicaid, tax credits and rental assistance that they would be worse off if she did.  I said, "what about the future?"  He didn't understand.  I explained that in America you may start at the bottom but eventually you work your way up and make more money.  That's how I did it.  He responded, "Why bother.  We are doing great now.  It's not like the government is gonna kick us off the dole."  The best part is they went on a vaction to Gulf Shores in August and used their EBT to buy food while on their vacation.  Can't believe that that example is all that isolated.

The point is...Government meddling anywhere screws things up, whether it's the market or human motivation.  I think that the banks should have been allowed to fail.  But, then who would have funded the 2012 elections?

drhowarddrfine
drhowarddrfine

You have some good points but 1) there always have been and always will be poor people and 2) you can eat pretty cheaply and very well if you buy real carrots and other staples instead of Cup O' Noodles type garbage.

drhowarddrfine
drhowarddrfine

Love it when people try to compare apples to oranges.

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