In the interest of knowing all of the relevant facts, I attended a meeting with Mayor Francis Slay’s staff and Occupy St. Louis. The meeting was held at the Edward Jones Dome, in the Labor Union offices. It was packed with news media, press, OWS folk and interested citizens.
There is no way to accurately describe the confusion and complete lunacy on display there. Since the OSL folks have their own way of communicating, waving their fingers upward for support and downward to show displeasure, there was plenty of theater to watch as the conversation unfolded.
OSL is interested in the city of St. Lous divesting all funds from Bank of America. They also want a permanent space that is centrally located (so people can’t ignore them) as well as some permanent “structures”. Their interest is in remaining in Keiner Plaza indefinitely as well as the opportunity to get whatever they ask for on a regular basis from the Mayor. They want attention, and they want it badly.
The city was clear that after considering the requests of OSL, there would be reasonable accomodation made, but that ordinances such as curfew and permitting for demonstrations would be enforced. A time frame was discussed, and the Mayor’s office stated that there would be a minimum of 24 hour notice before any action would be taken.
I did take the opportunity to ask three questions, which were deliberately left unanswered. Admittedly, it was naive of me to think that they would have goals and a purpose to what they are doing. Simply put, the OWS wants attention, and the immediate divestiture of city funds from Bank of America. They also want to occupy the Bank of America lobby, but have been prevented from doing so. I asked the following:
What is the next goal if and when all city funds are divested from Bank of America? What would it take for you to leave Kiener Plaza? What are the goals of OWS?
A MORE (Missouri Organizing for Reform and Empowerment) representative, who was facilitating the meeting and obviously the Occupy puppet master was absolutely enjoying the antics of the OSL folks. Jeff Ordower was in control, even telling the Mayor’s representatives when to answer questions and what they should address. He refused to answer my questions. He suggested that I stick around afterwards and ask the OSL folks my questions.
Remember that MORE is just ACORN reborn.
So that is just what I did. During the break, I was confronted by a Cherokee Street business owner, (the guy in the cream sweater pictured above) who asked if I was a plant from Newschannel 5. He seemed to think that since I have commented on tv against OWS, that I would be on tv again today to make more trouble. Imagine that!
OSL wants the city to give them unfettered access to Keiner Plaza and the Mayors Office, and the suspension of curfew laws and permit requirements. They have no specific end goal in mind. They are breaking the law and have no intention of stopping.
Update! Mayor Francis Slay has offered them a week to come up with more “solutions”. Then they have to go. This is an obvious attempt to give them more time to gather more occupiers. One of the occupiers stated at the meeting that he was going to call in reinforcements from other cities to help. Now he has a week to get that done. Thanks Mayor Slay!!!