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10 Protesters Arrested Outside Peabody Energy Shareholders Meeting in Clayton Hotel

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Photos by Take Back St. Louis
Anti-Peabody Energy protesters are arrested in St. Louis.
For the second time in a week, police arrested activists protesting against Peabody Energy, the St. Louis-based coal giant.

Ten protesters were arrested Thursday as another 65 people rallied outside Peabody's annual shareholder meeting at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Clayton, according to the activist group Take Back St. Louis.

Eight activists were arrested trying to enter the hotel to deliver a letter of demands to CEO Greg Boyce. Two other protesters who bought Peabody shares in order to attend the shareholders meeting were arrested trying to access the meeting from a nearby overflow room inside the hotel.

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Clayton police captain Stewart Glenn says the activists in custody will probably be charged with trespassing, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Inside the meeting, Boyce painted 2013 as a banner year for Peabody.

"2013 was a year of substantial achievement despite market headwinds," Boyce said at the meeting. "We matched our record safety performance from 2012, increased productivity, reduced costs, lowered capital investments, generated solid cash flow and repaid debt."

Last Friday police arrested seven Washington University students demonstrating against the school's close ties to the coal company. Boyce serves on the school's board of trustees.

See also: Police Arrest Seven Washington U Students at Protest Against Peabody Coal Exec

Peabody's big shareholders meeting drew more protesters than just St. Louis activists and Washington University students. Residents from Rocky Branch, Illinois, and the Black Mesa region of the Western U.S. joined local protesters to object to Peabody's mine expansion there.

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"I am here today to continue to spread the message that the Wash. U. Students Against Peabody started spreading with their actions over the past weeks," says Marshall Johnson, an activist who lives on the Navajo reservation in Arizona's Black Mesa where Peabody extracts millions of tons of coal each year. Johnson and the Navajo and Hopi residents of Black Mesa say Peabody's strip-mining uproots families and pollutes the water and air.

"We need to stand up to Peabody on Black Mesa and here in St. Louis so our children and grandchildren and all future generations can have clean water and clean air," Johnson says.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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17 comments
Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

jason… i know you're not a lawyer, you just play one on Facebook, but check out a concept called "trespass to chattels".

Laura Dee
Laura Dee

Why are some shareholders allowed access, but others aren't? They can't pick and choose. All shareholders should be heard, not just the ones that agree with them. They call the ones that disagree "protesters" so that they can "legally" have them arrested for trespassing, rather than hear what they have to say.

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

were they protesting on private property? yes.

Couch Pig
Couch Pig

I feel that way about people that classify things with names....

Couch Pig
Couch Pig

Two other protesters who bought Peabody shares in order to attend the shareholders meeting were arrested trying to access the meeting from a nearby overflow room inside the hotel.

Tony Merklin
Tony Merklin

Any relation to Mr Peabody ???? Remember him ????

Jason White
Jason White

Still ridiculous...does not matter how you slice it...i love how the freedom of speech is so selective in this country...and the right to assemble..

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

wrong. they are on private property. peaceful or not. if you are disrupting someone's business, you can get them to leave.

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

not on private property. on private property you are trespassing.

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

liberals would be adorable if they weren't so dangerously stupid.

Jason White
Jason White

This is so stupid...the act of arresting peaceful protesters is insane...if these corporations cannot handle it...then something must be really wrong with them...

Laura Dee
Laura Dee

Those dirty hippies have every right to protest, though, and shouldn't be getting arrested for it.

Keith Pmc
Keith Pmc

I want my nature and my WIFI.. dirty hippies

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