27 Occupiers Arrested As Police Enforce Kiener Plaza Curfew

Categories: News, Occupy STL
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Photos: Tony D'Souza
Occupy St. Louis members stand their ground and prepare to be arrested.
For a moment last night, members of Occupy St. Louis had hope. Attorneys representing the protesters were meeting late into the evening with Federal District Court Judge Carol Jackson, arguing that the group be allowed to continue its 42-day encampment in Kiener Plaza despite Mayor Francis Slay's order for it to end come 10 p.m. 

By 8:30 p.m. roughly 50 hard-line Occupiers marched to the Thomas F. Eagleton Courthouse, using megaphones to make their presence known. Would it be effective? Maybe. Maybe not. But it was better than sitting around waiting for the authorities to come to them.

-OccupierWesleyMirageArrested.jpg
Occupier Wesley Mirage gets escorted to a police paddy wagon around 1 a.m.
All day long the people holding their ground in Kiener Plaza were abuzz in anticipation of police coming in to enforce the park's 10 p.m. curfew. By late afternoon yesterday the number of Occupiers downtown had grown to well over 200 people. Television camera crews crawled through the crowd, tourists passing in horse-drawn carriages snapped pictures, a half-dozen patrons of Gio's Ristorante stood across 7th Street, heckling the group with right-wing catcalls.

As the sun set and temperatures dropped last night, the crowd thinned to half its earlier size only to rebound with fresh troops as the curfew approached. Then it happened. The clock struck 10 p.m. and ... nothing. Still no word from the lawyers and the judge and no forced removal at the hands of the police.

A half hour passed. Then another. And another. Now just around 75 hard-line Occupiers remained. Gone were the homeless who had set up camp alongside the Occupiers and swelled their ranks in recent weeks. Gone, too, were half of the 50 or so tents that blanketed the downtown mall the night before. Finally, right before midnight, the lawyers returned. The judge denied their injunction.

Thirty minutes later, roughly a dozen police vans rolled in, blocking 7th and Market Streets, and unloading an estimated 65 officers, many carrying plastic handcuffs, though none in riot gear. Lieutenant Dan Zarrick gave Occupy St. Louis fifteen minutes to vacate the plaza as two dozen Occupiers, determined to be arrested, linked arms at the top of the plaza steps. 

"Let's go," Zarrick told his officers when the time elapsed, pushing through an angry gauntlet of protestors hurling vulgarities at the cops.

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Police hold sentry where protesters stood just an hour earlier.
Less than twenty minutes later, just before 1 a.m., the police action concluded peacefully with 27 voluntary arrests. One arrested Occupier chained himself to a chair and had to be cut free. In the night's tensest moment, which drew silence from everyone, an Occupier had a seizure and had to be taken away in an ambulance.

With Kiener Plaza free of protesters, city workers drove a dump truck from the Forestry Division onto the scene and began filling it with piles of sleeping bags, tents and left-over provisions. Just like that, Occupy St. Louis was hauled away -- at least for the time being.


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38 comments
Wesley Mirage
Wesley Mirage

Wow, trolls have alot to say here, but sit at home afraid to do what we do, take our problems to their faces.Speaking of which, I felt compelled to post as that's me up there. RFT, thank you so much for your unbiased, honest and informative story. Its alot more than what other media sources can say, but to compare you to them would be unfair to you. I applaud your sincere drive in decent, and entertaining but not sensational, journalism. Bravo.

Howard521
Howard521

OCCUPY HYPOCRITES:The following 'occupy' supportingcelebrities, paid by you and me,are in America's top one percent.Let's let each one of them keepFIVE MILLION DOLLARS,but occupiers should camp out ontheir lawns, or places of business,until they give the rest of their money to the poor !!!#1 Yoko Ono Net Worth – $500 million.#2 Russell Simmons Net Worth – $325 million#3 Roseanne Barr Net Worth – $80 million#4 Deepak Chopra Net Worth – $80 million#5 Kanye West Net Worth – $70 million#6 Alec Baldwin Net Worth – $65 million#7 Susan Sarandon Net Worth – $50 million#8 Michael Moore Net Worth – $50 million#9 Tim Robbins Net Worth – $50 million#10 Nancy Pelosi Net Worth – $35.5 million#11 Oprah Winfrey Net Worth – $2.7 Billion#12 Lady Gaga Net Worth – $110 million#13 Jay-Z Net Worth – $450 million#14 Lil Wayne Net Worth – $85 million#15 50 cent Net worth – $250 million#16 Rosie ODonnel Net Worth – $100 million#17 Julia Louis-Dreyfus Net Worth – $3 billion#18 Matt Damon Net Worth – $65 million

Nope
Nope

Bye, losers!

Dlee4144
Dlee4144

Those who did not want to surrender and be arrested did move to the sidewalk.  Those were the ones who were hollaring various things- and F-- the police was one of them, which somewhat angered me, since I was aware that when that guy handcuffed me, I'd prefer that he not be pissed off.  There were some incidents with a few of the police, but for the most part, they treated us as decently as any other prisioner.  The food consisted of smashed sandwiches with unidentifed sustances in them, and there was very little liquid available, unless you wanted to wrap your mouth around a very dirty faucet attached to the back of the toilet.  No cups were provided.  So, by the time our 24 hours were up, it wasn't even possible to swallow the sandwiches, because I didn't have any spit left and it gagged me.  Being able to sleep on a filty concrete floor with 9 other women in an area about 15x25 is apparently an acquired skill which I have not acquired, and we waited to be arrested for quite a while, so by the time we were released, I had not slept in about 40 hours.  I'm 67 years old, but I made it to the end- well, not yet.  I'm so weak I can hardly sit up, but I will go back as soon as I feel safe to drive.     As to your question about getting arrested- the whole purpose of OWS is to get attention.  Many of us have been fighting the injustice in our society for decades, only to see it get worse.  When the OWS movement started, it made people actually listen, and provided a focus for the frustrations many people were feeling, but as Cain recommended "blaming themselves".  When everyone is facing injustice and our society has become more of a plutocracy than a Democracy, this is the only thing that has worked in bringing people together.  It's miserable in a tent in Novemeber, jail is pretty awful too.  But, we are desperate. 

Patriot
Patriot

History won't remember the Occupy movement. It was a non-event. I hope these people have learned their lesson that pacifism and having no message is not a movement. As far as peaceful non-violent protests go, the protestors continuously offered MLK as an example but they leave out that a govt. created patsy put a bullet through MLK's head. You don't negotiate with tyrants and dictators like ours, they have no reason to change a system that works well for them.

The Federal Reserve has to go. No question about it but the Occupiers never made that a message. Regulation of financial markets have to be reinstated, that was never a message, ending taxation of everything you own and everything you do has to go but again was never a message, taking back control of education, judiciary, kicking out special interest groups and lobbyists, ending dual citizens of Israel/USA having govt positions, breaking up the media monopolies....... all things central to Americans ending the tyranny of the past 235 years.

bibi
bibi

The protest should move to Clayton. Thats the money center of the area.

Toni
Toni

 St. Louis is not Oakland.    This weekend the city was spared violence during  the #OccupySTL arrests at the Plaza.   Neither the police nor the protesters resorted to violence.    Patriots all.  The citizens of St. Louis should be proud .     

aaronbbrown
aaronbbrown

I attended the protest and subsequent arrest and removal, between 3 PM and 3 AM. This is a largely accurate account. 

One point I will add, the belongings and tents still left in the park that were removed by city workers, were loaded into a large shipping like container, in bags with tags for identification. One of the city workers who was doing this work told me that the owners of this property would be able to retrieve their belongings from the city. Some of the things removed were apparently classified as garbage and loaded into a sanitation truck, but most everything else was saved, including the pallets that the tents were erected over.

Constitutionally Concerned
Constitutionally Concerned

What were the charges? Looks like they were peacefully assembled and exercising free speech, which is protected by The Constitution, which states that no laws will be passed that restrict these rights. Very confused. And practically speaking, the homeless have been sleeping there for years, so I'm not sure how sudden enforcement of an unconstitutional ordinance supports any argument

Albertt
Albertt

First Amendment-  Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.Fourteenth Amendment- Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.So states are prohibited from restricting, and enforcing any state, city law that infringes on freedom of speech, and assembly. For example, telling hundreds or thousands of people you cant be in a park after closing, or you can only stand on the sidewalk.... Looks pretty clear to me... they cant enforce any law that restricts or takes away a persons Constitutional Rights!!!! Because the Constitution is the Supreme law of the land, and supersedes all state, city laws that infringe on our PROTECTED CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.

Alice
Alice

Great reporting Tony, continue to be true to the reality of the situation. Be careful.

Shina Rae
Shina Rae

It really surprised me that the arrestee;s didn't just move to the sidewalk to continue their protest in public...  wonder why the just voluntarily got arrested? I think standing out on the streets btw 2-3a when people leave downtown would've held more clout.  But respect to EVERYONE who was out there supporting!!

Brandt Hardin
Brandt Hardin

Every time you lock up a peaceful protester, it exemplifiesand exposes the police state which we live in here in America.  Police brutality is running rampant underorders from Governors who have their pockets lined with Wall Street and SpecialInterest monies.   Stand up and lend your voice to the globalprotest with the information sources and art listed on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot...

Djana Martin
Djana Martin

Interesting that you chose the words "Hurling Vulgarities" offering no actual quotes.  Yet the photo shows obviously peaceful protesters... At the multiple arrest actions I have attended, although a minority are yelling angry things (and most often they are quickly quieted by the larger group of committed-to-peace people), most are chanting "Shame" or "Join Us" or "Cops are the 99%, too" or my personal favorite, "You're sexy, you're cute, take off your riot suit."

Chris
Chris

Great, now Kiener Plaza can get back to being an abondoned urban wasteland as it has been for the last twenty years.

Dawson_parker
Dawson_parker

Tony, terrific article. Are you on the ground at Occupy STL? 

Thanks for confirming the arrests, and also including the unfortunate incident of the seizure. 

CJL
CJL

Point of Clarification: We can not control what private citizens do and say. Those individuals you 'cited' have chosen to throw their voice into the mix and as private citizens, that is their right. Strangely enough, all citizens in this country have the right to free speech. Which means that regardless of how much money you make, you are allowed to say what you wish.  If Westboro is allowed that right, then why aren't these folks?

Leesa
Leesa

The Occupy movement is not protesting the 1% in its entirety. They are protesting those members of the 1% that are greedy/corrupt and attempt to manipulate politics. There is no blanket hate for the wealthy, only for those that break the law or are extremely unethical in the use of their wealth.

Patriot
Patriot

Look I'm sure you probably had fun staying up late, smoking weed, swapping stories about your experiences at the "Sold Out" U2 concert, comparing tatoos, dreadlocking each others matted greasy hair, talking about the meaning behind your shark tooth beaded necklace, etc. But look urinating and defecating on the sidewalk is just totally uncool. You think you're making a statement "fighting the man" by taking a dump right in the middle of the park but that kind of stuff is why liberals are such losers and why you see people making that gesture of pinching their nose from the smell of liberalism that's about you (body odor mixed with the smell of drugs and alchohol oozing from your pores)

Anonymous
Anonymous

Just because you've got your fingers stuck in your ears doesn't mean there isn't a message. Now if you'd just take them out you'd hear that their message consists of some of the points in your second paragraph, excluding your usual anti-Semitic drivel.

Patriot
Patriot

The Goldbergs, Rothensteins, and assorted Ski's wouldn't like that one damn bit!

Kay
Kay

The charges were most likely trespassing. They were occupying and exercising their rights, BUT at the same time, there are laws about the uses of parks and public areas.If there's a curfew for the park, and they don't abide by the curfew then it turns into trespassing, not any time of right infringement. 

Albertt
Albertt

I agree.. they are prevented from enforcing any state/city statues relating to a person exercising their Constitutional rights..And that's in the Constitution, which they all took an oath to uphold, and defend.

They call it Occupy
They call it Occupy

They were evicted for breaking Kiener Plaza's 10 p.m. curfew. They'd been breaking it every night since Oct 1st. It's not what they are saying, it's what they were doing. Of course, that's also why the movement has been so successful in getting attention, a law-breaking tent city in the middle of downtown. That's why they call it Occupy. Smart. 

Shina Rae
Shina Rae

I had to head home at about 11:30, b/c I had an early flight, but I watched the live stream (from 1 perspective only) as the arrests happened and the only vulgarities I heard were from onlookers on the other side of the street.  The protesters and police both seemed very cooperative.

I was there
I was there

They were chanting "F--- the Police!" really loud. It was the only time it crossed over into that kind of thing all night. But that's the way it was.

Eric
Eric

Okay, this one wins the comment section.

Anonymous
Anonymous

You're no fucking patriot when you don't give a shit about the federally granted rights the country's forefathers established and are being stepped on here. Let them start deleting your racist shit and see how fast you join some movement.

incurablemisanthropes
incurablemisanthropes

No one has their fingers stuck in their ears.  The message isn't consistent.  The message isn't new.  The points they make aren't novel, they're tired.

There's only so many ways you can tell people your pissed off (at everything...of course) and only for so long.  Congratulations for being angry.  GET IN LINE.

CJL
CJL

As a proud Occupier with a Polish last name that ends in Ski, I am calling you out and saying that you should be very ashamed of yourself. Not only is that comment ridiculous and shows your lack of education, but completely irrelevant to the topic at hand. I know I shouldn't feed the trolls, but maybe you should stop calling yourself a Patriot since you employ anti-Semitic hate speech. Last I checked, Patriots are people who stand up for the oppressed and champion them.

Leesa
Leesa

Wow, what an immensely anti-semitic comment. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Dianne Lee
Dianne Lee

Nope, we were charged with curfew violation.  I've got a little pink paper to prove it.

Albert
Albert

No... you don't get it, city and state governments are NOT ALLOWED to enforce any law that interferes with a persons Constitutional Rights(Fourteenth Amendment Sec 1)... trespassing, noise,park rules,  any and all statues that relate to the exercising of a PROTECTED CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.

Leesa
Leesa

There were a very small group chanting, "The police are not our friends!", but I did not hear anyone saying "F--- the police." I was watching on livestream, though. Most of the people were chanting "Police are the 99%", or "Our passion for freedom is stronger than your prisons."

Leesa
Leesa

It is consistent, actually: we need to fix the massive economic inequality in this country, and rid both our government and our corporations of corruption. It's pretty simple, and pretty consistent.

Dianne Lee
Dianne Lee

When they came, those who did not want to surrender moved to the sidewalk. Those were the ones who were hollering various things- and F-- the police was one of them, which somewhat angered me, since when that guy handcuffed me, I'd prefer that he not be pissed off. There were some incidents, but for the most part, they treated the women as decently as any other prisioner. The food consisted of smashed unidentifiable sandwiches, and there was little liquid available, unless you wanted to wrap your mouth around a very dirty faucet attached to the back of the toilet. So, by the time our 24 hours were up, it wasn't possible to swallow, because I didn't have any spit left. Being able to sleep on a filthy concrete floor with 9 other women in an area about 15x25 is apparently an acquired skill which I have not acquired, and we waited to be arrested for quite a while, so by the time we were released, I had not slept in about 40 hours. I'm 67 years old, but I made it to the end- well, not yet. I'm so weak I can hardly sit up, but I will go back as soon as I feel safe to drive.As to your question about getting arrested- the whole purpose of OWS is to get attention. Many of us have been fighting the injustice in our society for decades, only to see it get worse. When the OWS movement started, it made people actually listen, and provided a focus for the frustrations many people were feeling, but as Cain recommended "blaming themselves". When everyone is facing injustice and our society has become more of a plutocracy than a Democracy, this is the only thing that has worked in bringing people together, and this the only county we've got. 

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