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Occupy St. Louis Regroups After Weekend of Evictions Nationwide

occupy regroup.jpg
Photo: Tony D'Souza
Members of Occupy St. Louis meet Sunday in a tent-free Kiener Plaza.
As members of Occupy St. Louis gathered Sunday to discuss how to reorganize following Saturday's forced eviction from Kiener Plaza they could take solace in at least one thing: They were not alone. 

Across the nation city officials used the November 12-13 weekend to crackdown on Occupy movements camped out in urban parks. In Salt Lake City on Saturday, police arrested 19 people when evicting the movement from a downtown green space. In Denver, police arrested 17 people. And in Portland on Sunday, Occupiers and police in riot gear faced off in hours of tense confrontations following the forced removal of a camp there.

Also Sunday, Philadelphia increased police patrols, while Oakland, the scene of violent clashes earlier this month, issued Occupiers a third eviction notice, warning of "immediate arrest."

jamie curran.jpg
Photo: Tony D'Souza
Jamie Curran of the Pax Christi non-violence movement speaks to Occupy St. Louis at Kiener Plaza Sunday afternoon.
The moves come after more than a month of cities using a hands-off approach to Occupy's headlines-grabbing tactic of setting up tent camps on public land, in violation of various ordinances. City officials in recent weeks have complained of a laundry list of public safety concerns posed by the camps, including litter, urination, defecation, graffiti, blocked sidewalks, thefts, assaults, threat of fire, drug overdoses, and arson. 

A man was shot and killed in the Oakland camp last week, while a veteran killed himself in Burlington, Vermont. Another man was found dead of suspected drug use and carbon monoxide poisoning in Salt Lake City, and in Philadelphia, a woman was raped in her tent. However, spokespersons for Occupy claim that officials have been trumpeting these incidents to draw attention from what has been largely a peaceful movement.

In Kiener Plaza on Sunday afternoon, 75 Occupy St. Louis supporters held a sedate discussion of their next move following the removal of their camp. Without their tents, banners, and megaphones in the now cleared and drab plaza, the St. Louis protestors have lost the easy identification they had just two days ago. Included in the gathering were many of the 27 arrested Saturday, all but one of whom has since been released. The lone Occupier still in the St. Louis Justice Center is being held on unrelated warrants.

"It was an educative experience," said William, 24, a local restaurant server who preferred not to give his last name. "It was interesting to see how the prison system functions. They moved us around a lot. They gave us high fructose corn syrup and white bread. I wouldn't say I liked it."

Another Occupy arrestee, Joseph Paul Poposky, 29, of north St. Louis, said, "The police were professional, we didn't have anyone suffer any kind of brutality. Some of our female Occupiers received harsher treatment, more intrusive searches. The men didn't get subjected to anything like that. A few of the staff expressed that they didn't want to be doing this particular job. The police are also part of the 99 percent."

In a press conference directly following the Kiener eviction early Saturday, Lieutenant Dan Zarrick explained why his officers did not deploy riot gear, as police have in other cities. "Our intelligence was that it was going to be peaceful. We've been in discussions with just about every city that is having similar situations. We followed our own training." With Kiener Plaza's 10 p.m. curfew now being enforced, Occupy St. Louis must find a new way to stay visible. The general consensus at Sunday's meeting was that the arrests--and the national media coverage--were good for the movement, and that a presence in Kiener, even one without tents, should continue.

"We are 'Occupy St. Louis'," Poposky said. "We were never 'Occupy Kiener Plaza'." Oren Goldberg, 32, was more cautious. "[The eviction] strengthened our foundation. We had thousands of people watching on live stream all over the world. We obviously got a lot of attention from it, but how can it be a good thing? Despite what some people say of the frivolousness of an occupation in a public space, it's clearly become an extremely powerful symbol."

Occupy St. Louis' lawyers will be arguing just that in front of Federal District Court Judge Carol Jackson in a 9:30 a.m. hearing on Tuesday morning, when they'll cite freedom of speech laws in an attempt to defend Occupy's most recognizable form of protest. The 27 Occupiers arrested Saturday will have their day in court on December 12th, and their confiscated belongings -- hauled away in Forestry Department garbage trucks--remain available to them at the City Health Department on North 13th Street.

Now scattered, some Occupiers have taken shelter with family and friends, or have simply gone home. Leaders within Occupy St. Louis also say they have a number of 'safe houses' in the city. One is a warehouse south of the Arch used to shelter homeless, according to Chaplin Thomas Stratman of the Universal Church. "Nobody's giving up," Goldberg concluded.

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41 comments
George Lenard
George Lenard

The "free speech" on display in these comments is a shameful disgrace. Insults, cursing, name-calling, rumors, statements without any basis in personal knowledge. Give me real live people standing in public with signs and willing to rationally discuss their concerns any day.

Chris
Chris

They had to eat corn syrup and white bread?!  Oh my God, the horror!  Call Amnesty International!

Peteypablo
Peteypablo

Kiener is a sad and wasted space without Occupy. I hope that Occupy comes back and livens things up down there.

OccupySucksAss
OccupySucksAss

Fuck Occupiers! I totally lost respect after I heard how rabid they were to block any criticism of jews but felt so free to their 1st Amendment rights that they were shitting and urinating inside on the floor and in the confessionals of the Catholic Cathedral in NYC. It became so frequent that the church has had to keep its' doors locked.

Let me tell you something you liberals: I'd bust your fucking face in if I ever caught one of you liberal pricks taking a shit in a church. Then you can contact your jew lawyer to sue me and I'd drive over to his mansion and kick his fucking ass too!

Wilkafuller
Wilkafuller

I was really, really hoping that STL would be the first city to reach out to the #Occupy people, and assist them in their efforts.  I understand there's a lot of fuss from the establishment pointed at the city managers to get these free-speech events torn down, because they are not speaking the establishment's message.  They speak for (almost) all of us.  I sincerely hope, somewhere, there exists a forward-thinking American city that would provide for both sanitation and safety needs, in addition to respect.  I am pleased that there was no physical harm to the protesters. 

KITTY
KITTY

Occupy St. Louis - much ado about nothing. They accomplished nothing to support their cause. The majority of Americans now have a negative opinion of the Occupy movement that has swept the country.

Of the problems the Occupiers have had in various cities - drugs, violence, rape, shitting and peeing on sidwalks - two facts were overlooked. The protesters are now becoming sick with Zuccati Lung Sickness and Tuberculosis. Both of these are major problems and easily spread to others. That's good. Maybe now they will all crawl back in their holes.

So perhaps if The Occupiers did accomplish anything at all it was they succeeded in turning the  public against them. In a few week when winter sets in they will all disappear and be forgotten as quickly as they sprung up. The Mouse that roared!

Two Shots of Same Chick
Two Shots of Same Chick

Breaking news: Occupy St. Louis wins the 'Miss Hot Young Left Wing Radical USA' award. Good job Occupy!

Tentcity
Tentcity

So what was it exactly that the occupation did for the movement that they couldn't do by holding a "speaker's corner" that involves everyone going home and coming back the next morning?  Anyone?

Madeline
Madeline

I am tired. I am tired. I am tired of human beings acting like we are not all the same.  No matter your race, religious views, political standings, or financial status, we are all people.  People who deserve an equal chance in life.  People who deserve to voice their opinions.  What are we working towards?  Better lives for ourselves or better lives for fellow humans?  We are all guilty of being selfish.  We are all guilty of being mean, hateful, and discriminating against people who believe differently than ourselves.  So take a few minutes and lay down somewhere.  Close your eyes and dream about what the world could be.  Be smart, use your brain.  Think about the type of human you want to be.  Change yourself.  We are all flawed, but this should not stand in the way of us bettering the world.  Sometimes life becomes so complicated that we forget how simple it is.  If we would all stop for a second.  Breathe.  And calmly proceed, so much could happen.  Every human on this earth is capable of amazing things.  As long as we can stop wasting all of our precious time and energy hating people with different ideas than our own, we might be able to move forward and create a future we can all be proud of.

megarockradiostl
megarockradiostl

More proof of who conservatives are and how they act. 

When and where little girl?

ihatesuburbs
ihatesuburbs

Shut the fuck up you stupid wannabe nazi piece of shit.  Keep your heil hitlering bullshit to yourself you aryan nations inbred assclown.

CJL
CJL

As a Christain, I'm gonna give you some advice. Maybe you should go back to church and pay for God to take away your anger and rage and hatred. God has said that whomsoever commits murder in his heart has committed murder in the flesh. So maybe you need to go inside that church and pray for a while. I know that MY God does not tolerate such hateful words.

Leesa
Leesa

Slay missed a huge political opportunity with this one. Had they really reached out and assisted the movement, they would have been a model for the rest of the nation. 

As it is, we'll have to be content that our police force is a model for the rest of the nation, while we accept the fact that our mayor panders to big business.

ihatesuburbs
ihatesuburbs

Keep hoping they just fade away you loudmouth idiot. Just because they were not a bunch of dumb shit fatass hick teabagger boomer pieces of shit you act like they are some type of traitors to our nation. As more people in this country get fucked by big money and the usefull idiots like yourself more people will turn to civil disobedience in response. Don't believe me? Crack any history book and you will see a pattern. That is if you really know how to comprehend what you read you dumb fuck.

Wilkafuller
Wilkafuller

Hey, Kitty?  Bet you think you're a real christian, huh? 

"The protesters are now becoming sick with Zuccati Lung Sickness and Tuberculosis. Both of these are major problems and easily spread to others. That's good. Maybe now they will all crawl back in their holes."   You DO realize, don't you, that (according to your stories) your own Christ was a protester, back in HIS day. 

I so, so, so sincerely HOPE that you do not (as you claimed you did) speak for the majority of Americans.  Because you sure do shame the name.

megarockradiostl
megarockradiostl

Wow, it doesn't take but one sentence to figure out who the right wing nut jobs are when they comment on sites like this. It's almost word for word what the right wing supporters who tune into 97.1 repeat daily like monks chanting. What makes it funner is almost every person who comments like this live nowhere near Downtown, rarely if ever enter Downtown and don't pay the taxes which pay for the lease of Kiener Plaza from the private interests that actually own it. 

Now maybe you right wing nut jobs who think it a humane thing to wish tuberculosis on people because you disagree with their viewpoints - WILL CRAWL BACK IN YOUR HOLE TOO.

Nice attitude to have during the holidays loser. I hope YOU get tuberculosis. How's them cookies for ya?

Mayawren
Mayawren

she's 14 & she came to represent duchesne high school....

guest
guest

Megarock..Sweetheart..Only thing that Looks Like it has Been "ROCKED" is Your Brain..Please Seek Some HELP For all that Extreme Anger U hold Against other Human Beings..People that YOU dont even know..HOW DO U LIVE WITH YORSELF??? Hate To BE ~~YOU~

OccupySucksAss
OccupySucksAss

You're no Christian. Don't give me your lectures. You're just a Evangelical reformed whore with a lot of guilt because of your seedy life. You turned to the Lord now that you're all dried up and can't get anyone to stuff you full of schlong.

KITTY
KITTY

Idiot: Crack the history books and read about Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. The Occupiers want communism to raise its ugly head by wanting to take all the money away from the rich. You are obviously jealous of The Tea Baggers since they have thrived and succeded in ways the fucking Occupiers will never come close to accomplishing, no matter how long they stink up our parks. You have a bad case of sour grapes. LMAO.

Markg42
Markg42

you show your lack intelligence  with your of verbal skills.

OccupySucksAss
OccupySucksAss

No! Fuck You! Dickwad liberal jackoff always coming on this forum preaching your liberal "likes it in the ass" sermon! Fuck Off and fucking die you piece of worthless shit!

(this is for your future missive)

OccupySucksAss
OccupySucksAss

Why don't you just shut the fuck up you fucking pussy! You pansy ass diversity queen from down at the queer bathouse choking on a dick!

KITTY
KITTY

Bible Thumper: I never brought up or implied anything to do with religion. I do not pretend to speak for the majority or anyone else. I only speak for myself. But again, most Americans are turned off by the protestors. I was never turned on.  There are other diseases rampant among the Occupiers in addition to the ones I mentioned. By contracting one of the diseases, the infected persons would likely leave the protest and go back from whence they came - crawling back into their holes!

Markg42
Markg42

 your an idiot, just like the brownshirts of germany, useful idiots,

Guest
Guest

In reply To Kitty n MegaRock...Kitty For YOU They Are "OCCUPYING WALL STREET..Fot a REASON..It Does Seem like U are Somewhat confused on that...As For U MISERABLE MEGAROCK Ring Wing..HATRED POURS From U ...For the Other side ~ but U need to Remember..Withe UR HATRED..Karma IS A BITCH....

KITTY
KITTY

Wow, it doesn't take six words to know, with certainty, you are a left-wing bleeding heart - probably a union thug to boot. A large number of Occupiers were homeless or people just passing thru St. Louis. What a joke. As if they are really interested  or knowledableabout your woefully miguided cause. And by the way, I can't crawl back in the hole because you are already in there.

kckaaos
kckaaos

Being on ACORN's payroll doesn't count as employment, neither does welfare.  Many Tea Partiers are retired. you are definitely a liberal, spinning things let and leaving out critical facts. 

Anonymous
Anonymous

The employment rate among Occupy supporters? +70%. Tea Partiers? +50%. Thrived and succeeded, LOL

kckaaos
kckaaos

they ARE 99% of the problems in America.

OccupySucksAss
OccupySucksAss

Oh yeah that's a real insult coming from a bastard son of a crack whore who's daddy was a black pimp.

Markg42
Markg42

occupiers are clueless idiots. they are not 99% more like the 1% 

ihatesuburbs
ihatesuburbs

You sure do seem to repetitively use the 'likes it in the ass' message in your insults. My guess is that's how you became a white supremacist shithead (besides the fact that your mother was your sister), because in your first run in the joint you got pounded by a soul brother who was 'too beaucoup' and you are still pissed because you enjoyed it and now you still want more. Keep your repressed sexual hangups to yourself, scapegoating 'the joos' doesn't convince anyone. And for gods sake please don't start buggering children or more family members, your mother was enough. Fucking pervert.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Christ is something stupid people believe in to make themselves feel better, much like believing everyone who goes to prison gets fucked in the ass.

megarockradiostl
megarockradiostl

Thanks for proving the point of my post. I can take half your sentence, post it in Google and up came 225,000 entries - all of them right wingers whining. Every single one. 

And isn't it the right wing promising to legalize marijuana. Even that fine Ron Paul guy.

Had you paid any attention there were war veterans (ones with homes), computer programmers, college students. The few homeless people down there had been there for a long time before Occupy. If you knew ANYTHING about Downtown St. Louis you'd know the homeless people had been using Kiener Plaza non stop long before it even had a name. Go downtown tomorrow and I promise you one is sleeping right across the street from City Hall. They're not a problem though.

To people like you - anyone who isn't you are just homeless, welfare collecting, communist, drug using trash who are too lazy do to anything. Oddly I am a company owner, own and hand built one of the areas top websites, used to work for AB before Inbev and don't go around name calling and belittling people like you fine conservatives do. I'll leave that to people like you.

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