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Thursday, November 10, 2011

City Gives Occupy St. Louis 25-Hour Notice to Vacate Kiener Plaza

Posted By on Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Representatives from the St. Louis parks department and mayor's office this afternoon gave participants of Occupy St. Louis 25 hours to break down their encampment in Kiener Plaza. 

Park department employees arrived with police around 2 p.m. today to deliver a notice informing the occupants that the city will begin enforcing city ordinances effective at 3 p.m. Friday, November 11, or shortly thereafter. 

That means that protesters in Kiener Plaza could face arrest if they stay in the park past the 10 p.m. curfew. City laws also prohibit camping inside the park, meaning that the dozens of tents inside Kiener Plaza must come down. 

The notice stated that city officials would collect anyone's belongings still inside the park and store them for pick up on Saturday or Sunday at a building at 1212 N. 13th Street. 

Eddie Roth, chief performance officer for the city, tells Daily RFT that city ordinances apply for everyone and the city cannot continue to allow Occupy St. Louis to ignore the law. Last night Roth presented a proposal to the occupiers to move from Kiener Plaza to a spot across from the post office on Market Street where they could have a 24-hour presence but no tents. Members of Occupy St. Louis rejected that plan. 

Angelo Dower, a 38-year-old business owner from Webster Groves who calls himself "almost a 1 percenter," says he plans on camping out this weekend at Kiener Plaza even if it means getting arrested. However, he says he'd leave should things turn violent.

"In the event that it remains peaceful, I'm willing to stand my ground and get arrested," he says.

For his part, Roth says he hopes the situation will resolve itself peacefully. 

"In the eight hours I've spent meeting with member of Occupy St. Louis over the past three days, they've told me to the person that they are non-violent and do not intend to provoke violence," he says. "I expect some to engage in civil disobedience and others to respect the law." 

Roth adds that representatives from the ACLU are expected to visit with occupiers tomorrow to coach them on civil disobedience and how to minimize the risk for police and themselves. 


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