I stopped by Kiener Plaza in downtown St. Louis Monday and talked to a few of the new residents there. They’re organized: got tents set up and have received plenty of food donations; have tarps ready for the first rain so that everything they own won’t end up soaked and moldy; meet as a group to decide on community policies and plan events. Monday, for example, they coordinated with a group of Wash. U. students to protest the Keystone Pipeline Project. 150-200 people showed up outside the Renaissance Hotel where Obama would be, urging him to veto the project. Wednesday at 4:00, they’re coordinating with MORE to protest at the Bank of America at Eighth and Market. They will demand that Bad for America take responsibility for the damage it has caused to our neighborhoods because of foreclosures.
As for their community policies, they are being scrupulous about following the rules and being model citizens. Despite the roar of the waterfall, they don’t use bullhorns at their meetings because that would require a $300 permit. Another example: they want to leave the plaza cleaner than they found it. Bill Stough dropped by and handed Carmalene Jackson a broom and dustpan.
The word the protesters had as of Monday afternoon, though, was that sometime Monday night the police would be citing them for staying on the city property.