So Mayor Slay’s staff walk in to a room in the Edward Jones Dome with a few people from the Occupy St. Louis movement currently inhabiting downtown…
Stop us if you’ve heard this one.
The initial debate was between the Mayor’s Chief of Staff Jeff Rainford, and a guy that only went by “Chuck”…naturally.
“We ask that you condemn the police violence in Oakland and retract any threats or insinuations of violence against us and the accusation that we are inciting violence,” Chuck said.
Rainford responded: “I don’t know where you read in the newspaper, or what newspaper or tv station said that I was threatening violence. I wasn’t. It’s very easy. I condemn the violence in Oakland. I condemn violence here. I condemn violence everywhere.”
Chuck starts out with some fire, but it was quickly put out by the Rainford. But what, you may ask, were the rest of Chuck’s occupy buddies doing?
Residents of the tent community had voted earlier in the day not to attend the meeting, but a few came wearing dollar bills taped around their mouths and refusing to speak.
We hear one guy had a $20 over his mouth at first but then noticed it looked bad after his friend emailed his recent iPhone photo he took while occupying the Galleria earlier in the day, so he called home and had his mom swing by and drop off some singles. It wasn’t a quick drive from Ladue, but she loves her “little free spirit”!
Ok, enough of this chit-chat! Lets get to those demands! The Mayor’s office would like the Occupiers to leave Keiner Plaza since there are events coming up that need that space, various health concerns and City Hall is down wind. The Occupiers would like…
…the city withdraw its funds from big banks, and a request for another building or park to occupy instead of Kiener Plaza.
Oh is that all? Anyone need a sandwich while we’re at it? Maybe some little milk cartons? …ok the building thing isn’t that big of a deal we guess, with all the spare ones we seem to have downtown these days.
Rainford refused the idea of moving city funds out of big banks, saying the banks provide revenue to the city and fund services downtown. He also refused to provide a building for the protestors to occupy.
But the mayor’s office did suggest creating a “speaker’s corner” downtown, where the protestors could maintain a presence and get their message out.
Jokes aside, that seems fair. But it’s certainly not as cool to have a sanctioned protesting area rather than taking over an area downtown with nothing but your burning desire for social and economical reformation! In fact, they may have to change the name from “Occupy St. Louis” to “Don’t Mind Us. We’ll Just Be Over Here, Out of the Way St. Louis”