March 22–Last Thursday, March 15, attendees of the Occupy Midwest Conference were peacefully complying with police orders to vacate Compton Hill Reservoir Park, when they were violently attacked by St. Louis City police officers. The Occupy Movement is a collective response to social injustice and corporate greed. Rather than addressing the ongoing crisis of families being foreclosed on and the resulting destabilization of neighborhoods, a high unemployment rate, and the corporate syphoning of money from public education, the city of St. Louis is using it’s resources to repress a non-violent assembly.
“We felt very safe in the park until the police showed up. As we were crossing the street to leave, a line of blue charged into the crowd – batons swinging – and began striking people. It was chaos. The screams of those being beaten were terrifying to hear. I felt helpless,” reports Carrie Bumgardner Luna.
Despite the fact that he was not resisting arrest, one Occupier was repeatedly beaten in the face with the butt of a mag-lite. After already being beaten and cuffed, an officer then methodically snapped and broke two of his fingers. Another Occupier was repeatedly beaten in the head requiring staples. Both Occupiers were hospitalized. A third Occupier was hit in the neck and choked with a baton, thrown to the ground and kicked in the face causing permanent damage to his jaw structure.
“It’s shocking and disheartening to see people you love being violently attacked, bleeding from their bruised faces. It was a senseless betrayal of trust. It really helps me better understand what people of color in our city go through every day,” said Oren Goldberg.
Occupy St. Louis has always been responsible stewards of public space and disavow the graffiti damage done to the Compton Hill Reservoir Park.
Occupy the Midwest
St. Louis, MO March 15-18th
regional conference & actions
Join us to elevate our movement to the next level with cities from across the region coming together to learn from each other, take action, and discuss how to move forward.
This moment is nothing short of America rediscovering the strength we hold when we come together as citizens to take action to address crises that impact us all.
Such a movement cannot be evicted. Some politicians may physically remove us from public spaces — our spaces — and, physically, they may succeed. But we are engaged in a battle over ideas. Our idea is that our political structures should serve us, the people — all of us, not just those who have amassed great wealth and power. We believe that is a highly popular idea, and that is why so many people have come so quickly to identify with Occupy Wall Street and the 99% movement.
You cannot evict an idea whose time has come.*
Foreclose on Bank of America
Thursday : 4 – 5PM Kiener Plaza (7th & Market)
— Matt Taibbi breaks it down for us. Read More
Monsanto Action : The only thing GREEN about Monsanto is their $$$.
Friday : 12 PM (NOON) Meet at Tower Grove Park (Arsenal & Grand)
Why are companies like Monsanto allowed to profit from their control of the food supply while the rest of us have to struggle for affordable, healthy food?
Companies like Monsanto have enormous economic and political power. Their campaign contributions determine the outcome of elections. Their lobbyists write our laws.
Peabody Energy: Teach-in and Action
Friday: 4-5PM Keiner Plaza (7th & Market)
Head-quartered here in St Louis, Peabody Coal is bankrupting our city and destroying communities, come take action with us to demand justice. Representatives from impacted communities will educate us on the practices of the world’s largest coal company.
Wells Fargo is a Snake: St. Patrick’s Action
Saturday: 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM Wells Fargo Securities (Market & Ewing)
St. Patrick became the patron saint of Ireland after driving out all the snakes on the island. Join us to commemorate St. Patrick’s Day by banishing out the 1% Snakes of St. Louis. Wells Fargo took millions in bail out money, avoids paying taxes, and is busy wrecking our neighborhoods by foreclosing on families.
Check out the Calendar for more information about Teach-ins, Discussions, Speakers, General Assemblies, and Music.
This is a long term discussion group that sprung from reading Strategizing For a Living Revolution by George Lakey. We meet every Friday at 6:30 pm at the World Community Center, 435 N. Skinker Blvd. We have cancelled meetings until after Occupy the Midwest. We will start up again on March 23.
Pay Day Loan Action for May 1
In order to tie concrete change to actions we are proposing this idea, which we will vibe check at GA and on the Forum after OMW:
- pick one Pay Day Loan business that is a national chain and preferably financed by BOA to Occupy
- have Occupiers stand in line asking financing and business practices questions to essentially tie up their business for the day
- have Jobs with Justice (JWJ) and the Organization for Black Struggle (OBS) petitions available for people to sign: 1. to raise the minimum wage by $1.00 2. to cap pay day loan interest at 36%
Bank of America Conference Call
- OWS is working in coalition with Matt Tiabbi (reporter from Rolling Stone) and many, many affinity groups to foreclose on BOA
- OWS is calling for actions on March 15 and April 15 to increase public awareness of BOA’s impending demise (see proposal passed by GA on 3-4-12 posted on occupySTL.org>News for details)
- can get a list for $1.00 of LRA properties from City Hall. These are abandoned and/or city owned property that can be purchased for the price of paying the back taxes, or sometimes the city will give this property away if there is aldermanic support to do so
- create community centers, gardens, coops, housing, etc. with this property
Media Working Group
We observed that many of our working groups do not seem to be operating at full capacity. In terms of long term strategy, planning for the spring and summer, it seemed like a good idea to start with the media working group.
- While Facebook and occupySTL.org are being manifested, gmails are being answered, the rest of the tasks of this wg seem to be languishing
- we put together some ideas (which are currently being vibe checked on the Forum>General Discussion) that we hope will help get us on track. We thought that it might be a good idea to divide this wg into 4 working groups.
- Essentially, the social media would remain unchanged. A nominee would still need to go through GA consensus to be on it. Is there a process for removing someone? Anyone could be on any of the other media wg.
- responsible for: Facebook, twitter, tumbler….
- creating Facebook events (in conjunction with the working group responsible for the event)
- press contacts: both maintaing a media list of press contacts and a list of Occupiers to speak to the press
- press releases for radio, tv, printed press
Originally, flyers had been the responsibility of the media working group. We think it might be better if the people responsible for putting on an event or action also be responsible for making the flyer.
Do we need GA approval before putting occupySTL.org on a flyer?
Maybe we could use an apprenticeship model for training new people as they join the media working groups. There is a model the Zapatistas use which could be helpful. It’s called sortition and is Greek Athenian model of participatory deomocracy: http://youtu.be/KsnNpcJtwoo
Would it be helpful to have a Concern (Circle) working group?
What is currently going on with the other Occupy St. Louis (OSTL) working groups?
We are working on a May 1 flyer to be distributed at the St. Patty’s Day parade.
Bob Levine, Bob the Button Man, can make 99% buttons. Mark will ask him to make a bunch.