At 4:15 Wednesday morning, Lt. Tim Sachs of the St. Louis police force approached the thirty plus Occupy STLers in their sleeping bags and told them that they had ten minutes to start packing up and leave Kiener Plaza or they would be issued summonses. Within 6-8 minutes, at least 20 cop cars and 3 paddy wagons pulled up and 30 or more police officers piled out of them. The Occupy STLers were having a general assembly to discuss their options, but the police put an end to that, pouring into the the plaza and telling the occupiers to get their stuff on the sidewalk now.
The protesters began breaking down their camp. Matt Hanley, who was in charge of the food, saw to it that their supplies were taken to a nearby van. Of the 30-40 occupiers, some went to the sidewalk to avoid getting a summons for being on park property after curfew. Others stayed in the plaza and received summonses.
By 4:45, the police were gone. Some of the protesters were sweeping up. Hanley noted that someone with an official position for the St. Louis parks had dropped by on Tuesday and mentioned that the occupiers had Kiener Plaza cleaner than he had ever seen it.
Occupy STLers were pumped after the cops were gone. Kiener Plaza hasn’t seen the last of them.
I’ll have pictures and video of all the activity as the protesters get them to me. Some media arrived while the police were there, so look for segments on the local news. I’ll cover the press conference at 10:00 this morning.
Update:At 4:30 Wednesday morning, with cop cars surrounding them, the Occupy STL folk were pumped about their mission.