[Video of Kiener Plaza 11/11/11 by 99% of St. Louis]
Kiener Plaza has been the central hub and encampment site for the Occupy St. Louis movement since the first day on 10/01/11. The seed of genuine participatory democracy was planted, and grew into a network of coordinated efforts and voices in St. Louis. Our encampment has found solidarity with the other Occupy movements globally. On the evening of the 42nd day of our occupation, Veteran's Day 11/11/11 around 11:30pm, 25+ police cars arrived at Kiener Plaza and police were ready to enforce the municipal order on curfew hours of the park. The video above captures the integrity Occupy St. Louis displayed as 27 citizens were arrested for breaking curfew hours.
Occupy St. Louis had their Livestream feed broadcasting live video footage on their channel, as well as having that video mirrored on Global Revolution's channel. While thousands around the world were watching, the St. Louis Police and the citizens of Occupy St. Louis chose non-violence. Peaceful protest allowed the message of Occupy St. Louis to overcome the enforcement of curfew laws. It is unfortunate that legislation caused this confrontation, but I commend the message delivered as peacefully assembled citizens were arrested and tents were removed.
This warning was issued to protesters at Kiener Plaza as advanced notice, and rumored on Mayor Slay's blog earlier in the week. Occupy St. Louis sought an injunction on the enforcement of the municipal curfew law on First Amendment grounds of the right to peaceably assemble, but it was not granted. Despite the removal of tents at the encampment site and arrests of peaceful citizens violating curfew, the citizens of Occupy St. Louis returned to Kiener Plaza to once again to share their voice of solidarity with the world. This is a global effort to get citizens together and discuss our ideas on a platform we are all accepted to participate in. This is direct democracy, an idea that cannot be quelled by arrests or removal of tents. This is about the power of our voice as we come together respectfully. The people have something to say.