UPDATE: St. Louis Occupiers Refuse To Leave As Mayor Fears Another ‘Oakland’ Situation
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — Occupy St. Louis protestors have decided not to meet with Mayor Francis Slay. City leaders had planned to meet with them today at 3 p.m. at the Edward Jones Dome.
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — Occupy St. Louis protests say they have no plans to leave a downtown park as the mayor’s office fears another Oakland situation could erupt.
On Friday, Mayor Francis Slay warned the group in a blog post that it was violating several city laws, complaints were building and bad weather was approaching. He also cited a need to clear Kiener Plaza for holiday events, such as lighting of the Christmas tree.
“All I’m trying to do is to keep this from becoming Oakland,” said Mayor Slay’s Chief of staff, Jeff Rainford. “I’m trying to get this solved with no violence.” More than 100 people were arrested during last week’s late night clashes between protesters and Oakland police.
Monday night, Occupy St. Louis protestors warned Mayor Slay: remove us and we’ll be back in bigger numbers.
“If the mayor wants this to remain a small protest, I don’t think throwing the protestors who spend the night here out is the way to do that,” said group spokesman Paul Poposki, “That might be the way to bring more people down here actually.”
An earlier eviction of Kiener Plaza protestors drew more campers, and Poposki says that dynamic has held true in other cities, because supporters staying at home are moved to action.
No matter what happens, Poposki says the demonstrators are committed to responding peacefully. However City officials fear that forcibly moving the protesters could lead to violence
“We’re gonna cool off,” Rainford said. “It’s probably going to get inflamed anyway.”
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