Creve Coeur City Council Votes to Ban Protests On Median in Front of Monsanto Headquarters

Categories: Police, Politics

arrest_monsanto.jpg
St. Louis County police arrest a protester in front of Monsanto headquarters in January.
Creve Coeur police chief Glenn Eidman is sick and tired of Monsanto protesters trying to hand out anti-Monsanto literature to people in parked cars in front of the seed giant's headquarters on Olive Boulevard, so he got the city council to pass an ordinance putting an end to that situation right away.

The Creve Coeur City Council unanimously passed the ordinance, which explicitly prohibits people from protesting on the medium. Protesters can still do their thing on the shoulder in front of Monsanto headquarters, but attempting to get attention from both sides of the road will be banned.

Eidman, who personally pushed hard for the ordinance, says it's all about safety and has nothing to do with cracking down on protesters of Creve Coeur's biggest and most important job-creator.

See also: Power of Monsanto: Shareholder Meeting Had More Cops, Arrests Than Votes for GMO Labels

"The Police department has encountered numerous protests in the last year at the Monsanto World Headquarters," Eidman says in a letter to the city council. "One of the problems encountered during these protests have been the protesters themselves who walk out to the median and attempt to demonstrate and pass out brochures to passing motorists. This in itself has been a safety concern, as they are too close to the roadway for vehicles traveling at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour."

Here's a summary of the bill:

monsanto_ordinance.JPG

But John Chasnoff, a member of the Coalition Against Police Crimes and Repression and former Program Director of the ACLU of Missouri, counters with this: "There is nothing inherently unsafe in being on the median itself. The police already have the authority to enforce safety on the median. In his letter, Chief Eidman is making it clear that the purpose of this amendment is to target Monsanto protestors."

He adds: "Since protestors have the right to pass out fliers when traffic is stopped, not allowing them to stand on the median actually increases safety risks."

Of course, owing to the size and strength of the Monsanto Corporation, some people are suspicious that the Creve Coeur Police Department is cracking down on protesters to please the big seed executives and trample the First Amendment.

See also: Why Do Some St. Louis County Cops Wear Military-Style Camouflage Uniforms?

The group March Against Monsanto sent out a press release alleging that the ordinance "challenges" the First Amendment and William Smith, a member of the group, told the Post-Dispatch that he is "concerned with people's ability to access public space, and that's what this is an issue of."

But Chasnoff believes that the way the ordinance was written might prevent any strong free-speech challenges.

"Despite the Chief's obvious intent to target protesters, the ordinance is worded in such a way as to appear to have universal application," Chasnoff says. "Police intent to focus on protesters would not in itself be enough to have the law overturned in court."

However, he adds that if it looks like Monsanto protesters are being singled out, then there could be court challenges.

As of now, violation of the ordinance will constitute a C misdemeanor.

See also: The Monsanto Menace: The feds see no evil as a belligerent strongman seeks control of America's food supply

Follow Ray Downs on Twitter:

E-mail him at Ray.Downs@RiverfrontTimes.com.

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89 comments
Terra Williams
Terra Williams

Glyphosate was found in breastmilk, it might be time for you to care.

Amber Crisman
Amber Crisman

Hi :) I'm thinking about going but not sure yet either. Maybe I'll see you there.

Sue Foster
Sue Foster

This is the only country Monsanto is allowed in.

Michael F. McCluskey
Michael F. McCluskey

I'd like to, but not sure. It's out by my mother's house. She lives on Port Diane. ...Hi Amber. :)

Brian D Gilbreath
Brian D Gilbreath

And they don't need ar15s to handle protestors who are unarmed

Brian D Gilbreath
Brian D Gilbreath

There not the damn army take that camo off I served our country and don't wear camo now even there not blending into anything wearing that all it is. Is and intimidation tactic

Virginia Rowe
Virginia Rowe

MARCH AGAINST MONSANTO STL HEADQUARTERS MAY 24th,2014 1PM EAST & WEST ENTRANCES

Marshall Ingrassia
Marshall Ingrassia

How can you ban a protest? Dont we have a thing called freedom of speech? Is this America?

David Anderson
David Anderson

Just wait. The knowledge of their poisonous company is spreading like fire. Not to mention all GMO crops WILL fail because of blight.

David Anderson
David Anderson

When are people gonna storm Monsanto and just shut it down already? I mean, we as a species are tolerating this blatant rape of our populace and planet, you know? Probably the only planet in the universe that has people who kill people by feeding them poison.

David Anderson
David Anderson

Bought by the blood and the deaths of countless farmers and consumers.

redtiburon01
redtiburon01

This is a free country.  The only way you can put a ban on where someone is standing is for safety reasons, not because you are some bigot.  Fuck off.  Freedom of speech you hypocrites.

Jeff Willett
Jeff Willett

It is unsafe there, I have driven by there during a protest and traffic was in chaos. Not alot of visibilty.

Tom Flowers
Tom Flowers

why are those people dressed like that?

Charli Bridgewater
Charli Bridgewater

They claim it is for safety reasons (of protesters), and pedestrians crossing the street can use it for that purpose. Nice spin, NOT!

Liv Stiles
Liv Stiles

Creve Coeur is fully invested in AGENDA 21... not surprised this is happening.

Todd Gilliam
Todd Gilliam

Lol a public service at 3 am and 4 am when they could be patrolling neighborhood's and highways the choose to open people's car doors and evade your privacy.

Chico Andy Mann
Chico Andy Mann

Funny. Most of the people complaining had no problem telling Don Sterling he doesn't have free speech on his own property yet they want free speech on Monsanto's.

Phillip Elliott
Phillip Elliott

Honestly, mostly the cops, and just the general aura of the area. I don't wish harm to anyone, I just hate how areas such as Creve Coeur, Town and Country, Wildwood, Clayton, Ladue, and Frontnac, as townships seem to support companies such as these, and don't give a crap about much other than their own pocket books.. If you are however opposed as I am, to the treatment of protesters such as these.. Also if you actually care about what these chemical companies do to poison economically depressed areas because they are simply too poor to fight back, than of course I exclude you from the aforementioned comment. Never the less, you would be the exceptions rather than the rule, as most others in your area, do not feel as you do

XiaoPei Chen
XiaoPei Chen

Oh, dude. I live in Creve Coeur, why are you so hateful?

Stu Katz
Stu Katz

I love it, why should these nut cases screw up traffic from the median. Picket on the roadsides, if you don't like it. I kind of like a city council listening to the largest taxpayer, and benefactor.....makes sense to me.

Shaddow Church
Shaddow Church

so, the police tag the cars that would make the best targets for thieves? that's a real public service, right there.

Justin Smith
Justin Smith

Mayor I do believe you are in violation of civil rights and the right to protest

Amber Crisman
Amber Crisman

I live in Creve Coeur AND I plan to participate in the MAM... I certainly hope that you would care if I died in a fiery inferno. Maybe you were just referencing Ben Harper and implying CC needs to get high? "If you don't like my fire than don't come around; cause I'm gunna burn one down."

Bob Parr
Bob Parr

Good luck and please keep us informed.

Bob Parr
Bob Parr

Hey, Kevin, just keep feeding your kids and/or grandkids the GMO crap monsanto produces and let us know how healthy they are after a few years. And while you're at it, spray Roundup all around your home and let us know how long it is before it doesn't work anymore and you end up with "superweeds" - but don't fret because the FDA/USDA is about to approve an active ingredient of "Agent Orange" to take care of them (the same Agent Orange that is still causing birth defects in Vietnam generations later). Oh, I almost forgot this: http://ecowatch.com/2014/02/26/study-connects-monsantos-roundup-to-fatal-kidney-disease-epidemic/

Bob Parr
Bob Parr

I say we just overload their phones with protests to this blatant violation of the 1st Amendment of the Constitution.

Dean Muertz
Dean Muertz

I love how all problems in this world ends up being the president's fault.

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

the part that cracks me up is that obama… the messiah of most of these protesters took money from monsanto.

Randy Deeke
Randy Deeke

When are we going to rise people!? This is stomping out freedom of speech, protest rights and they will just keep taking!

Gary Muich
Gary Muich

Screw the police chief,hes been paid off by Monsanto to get rid of them! Dirty bastard politics! Get him out of office!

Kerry Russell
Kerry Russell

I think it's really funny that they have so much time on their hands to be so petty about how we protest...Whatever, so we will march on the sidewalk and not the median...good job city of Creve Coeur...We will still be there. See all you cops on March 24th! I'll have my camera ready....

JustMyWords
JustMyWords

1 - Monsanto doesn't own the median or the shoulder of the road. 


2 - I must have missed it. Has Don Sterling been threatened with prosecution for his speech? No, he hasn't. His free speech rights are intact. Being told that you're an ass is *not* depriving you of your rights. 

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