A report from the Oakland solidarity march Sunday night in St. Louis, and another piece about folks in Minneapolis attempting to occupy a building.
January 29, 2012
In response to the events in Oakland, 50 or so people with Occupy St Louis and others met at the formerly occupied Keiner plaza for a march. For many tonight, the actions of the police against those in Oakland were very personal. The actions of the police in Oakland are not surprising to many who seek their dissolution and it is not an isolated case to be decried—especially considering the normal occurrence of police opening fire on people in St Louis (already six in January, one of them ending in death). And according to a federal study STLPD are three times more likely to fire their guns than any other police force in the U.S. The police are not our friends.
The march was in the streets to the jail. Reaching the jail, folks chanted their hatred of police and the jails they put us in. Leaving the jail we were trailed by some police as we came to a downtown bar district. Some of us overheard someone yelling “Stop fucking shooting people, stop brutalizing people, this is why we are fucking protesting. Fuck you!” at a bike cop who was asking them to stay on one side of the road. She then promptly biked off.
Some items were dragged into the street.
The police still trailing us, we weaved around to a hotel that has not been paying their workers and went inside chanting for them to pay their workers. When we went inside the police exited their vehicles to follow us in, but the lobby was small and we were quick to leave, so they were just left seemingly confused and in the dust. After this, they stopped trailing us. Soon words against the police (“From Oakland to STL, Fuck Da Police” and “Revolt”) were spray painted on buildings, met mostly with support from the crowd. It was sort of a collective shock mixed with excitement for many to see “vandalism,” and hopefully this behavior can become more normalized and celebrated.
But sadly, at one moment, an occupy security man (who in the past was a Sheriff in the Louisiana), decided that it was a good idea to try and take a photo of graffiti being put up and then threaten to take it to the police. He was met with immediate hostility and strong words were exchanged about the dangers of bringing police into any of our affairs. This inspired a long argument and discussion about tactics that went really well, though it was very tense. There was a request that the man who was trying to take photos be kicked out and that anyone who goes to State authorities be resisted. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any agreement about it.
Overall, it was a good night, but very tense.
There is a call-out for another demonstration on Tuesday night meeting on the corner of Grand and Arsenal at 9PM.
And from Minneapolis:
On January 28th over 50 people met at Stevens Square Park in Minneapolis and marched to an abandoned historic building for a dance party and foodshare. This event coincided with a similar event in Oakland, and other solidarity actions around the country.
People blocked 3 lanes of traffic en route to the downtown Minneapolis building where they dismantled the plywood from the front doors, before seizing the government-repossessed church. Having stood vacant for a decade, the neglected building was cleaned and redecorated for the purpose of this day.
This occupation was temporary as it was a capacity-building action to grow the possibility of a squatting movement in Minneapolis as well as to inform the public of neglected buildings that the government has left to rot. As their movement gains strength, occupiers plan to indefinitely hold a building in the future and turn it into a social center/community space.
Videos of the Day of Action