Francis Slay issued an edict
demanding that those involved in Occupy St. Louis vacate Kiener Plaza, the "occupiers" issued their own message to City Hall.
In a statement yesterday
sent to media outlets, OccupySTL accuses the mayor's office of making false allegations against their protest, including Slay's chief of staff -- Jeff Rainford -- telling media that Kiener Plaza "reeks of urine."
"Anyone is welcome to come to the site and see this is not true," wrote OccupySTL in its missive Monday. "The Mayor blames Occupy St. Louis, (which is not an organization but a
group of autonomous individuals assembling to make decisions
collectively) for behaviors that are almost universally the actions of
individuals not participating in Occupy activities and that most likely
would have occurred regardless of our presence."
According to OccupySTL, the mayor's crackdown on their occupation came after the Downtown St. Louis Partnership
made a complaint to City Hall. A spokesperson for the partnership was checking into the basis of that allegation yesterday at the request of Daily RFT
OccupySTL also "cited" Slay yesterday for what they saw as "violations" made under his tenure, including giving millions of dollars in tax breaks
to keep corporation such as Peabody Energy in downtown St. Louis.
Other grievances include:
- Failing to deliver on Ballpark Village in which public subsidies helped fund the new Busch Stadium and the "1%" (presumably the Cardinals owners)
- Fighting the fire department on increasing payments to their pension
- Watching as St. Louis schools become unaccredited
- Working in conjunction with developer Paul McKee to buy up north St. Louis property for gentrification
- Dismissing the city's black fire chief in Sherman George.
These are cases of hypocrisy and raise serious questions about unequal protection under the law. Other violations show the city's cooperation with Big Business and demonstrate complicity in the economic oppression being addressed by Occupy St. Louis. Of course, the violations include the incredible disparity and racial injustice that this City has long perpetrated on African Americans. In total, these violations make the trivial and untrue accusations raised against us pale in comparison.
Three days after St. Louis Mayor