About 150 activists marched outside Peabody Energy’s annual stockholder meeting in downtown St. Louis today.
The protesters decried an unfair tax code that they say allows the energy company to dodge paying its fair share of taxes. For instance, they say Peabody paid $0 in federal income taxes in 2008 and 2009; and $0 in state income taxes in 2010.
Peabody Energy's Corporate Communications Director Meg Gallagher says, however, the group’s numbers are inaccurate.
Occupy movement protesters blocked traffic outside Bank of America's regional headquarters Tuesday in downtown St. Louis. The group, including union workers, students, retirees, and clergy, staged a mock-game of dodge ball to protest how, in their view, corporations dodge paying their fair share of taxes.
Zach Chasnoff, an organizer for the group, says the movement chose the IRS's filing deadline to call attention to an unfair tax system that favors corporations over citizens.
Eight of 10 Occupy St. Louis protestors arrested in Kiener Plaza on Oct. 6 pleaded guilty in municipal court today to violating the city's ordinance banning people from being in city parks past 10 p.m.
Attorney Maggie Ellinger-Locke says the eight were sentenced to time served - about 24 hours - and Judge Richard Torack waived court costs. Ellinger-Locke called it a victory that individuals who "went to jail for justice" and were protesting economic inequality didn't have to pay any money.
The tents are gone from Kiener Plaza, along with the big crowds. But people involved in the Occupy St. Louis movement say they're still going strong.
Today marks the two-month anniversary of the movement that began in New York and spread to several other cities. At one point in St. Louis, more than 100 people were camped in Kiener Plaza, a downtown park.
In an interview during the march, Elliott said it was time for him to put his words into action.
"It's one thing to say you feel sorry for people," Elliott said. "It's another thing to actually go out and actually take a little bit of risk to get the things that this country needs."
The march route took protestors past the local headquarters of Bank of America and the Federal Reserve. Johnathan McFarland, an Occupy St. Louis organizer, called it symbolic of America's misplaced priorities.
"We need to rebuild our infrastructure," he said. "And people need jobs rebuilding the infrastructure as opposed to bailing out banks that don't really provide jobs."
Most marchers returned to Kiener Plaza after the arrests, though a few continued on toward the City Justice Center, where the arrested protesters were taken.
Update 4:42 p.m.: Via our reporter Rachel Lippmann:
14 people have been arrested this afternoon and the march of Occupy St. Louis protesters is making its way back to Kiener Plaza.
Update: 4:36 p.m. via the Associated Press: At least a dozen Occupy St. Louis protesters were arrested after their attempt to block the entrance to a Mississippi River bridge on the two-month anniversary of the Occupy movement.
Police were waiting on several hundred protesters when the throng arrived at the Martin Luther King Bridge shortly after 4 p.m. Thursday. About 15 to 20 protesters then sat down cross-legged, with their arms locked.
Officers moved in and arrested them when they refused to move.
They offered no resistance.
The crowd of protesters included labor unions and other sympathizers who marched from Kiener Plaza in downtown St. Louis to the bridge.
Members of Occupy St. Louis had camped in the plaza for several weeks before early Saturday, when police took down the tents and arrested demonstrators for curfew violations.
Via our reporter Rachel Lippmann:
About a dozen Occupy St. Louis protesters have sat down at the entrance to the MLK bridge.
St. Louis police are moving in now to arrest them and telling those nearby to move away or they’ll face arrest as well.
Hundreds more protesters are nearby.
They marched from Kiener Plaza in downtown St. Louis to the bridge, as part of a nationwide effort to mark the two-month anniversary of the Occupy Movement.
A federal judge in St. Louis has rejected attempts of Occupy St. Louis protestors to re-establish their encampment in Kiener Plaza.
Attorneys for the protestors, who were evicted from the park early Saturday morning, had asked Judge Carol Jackson to stop enforcement of the city's parks curfew until the case went to trial. Jackson denied that request saying the protestors had not proven they were highly likely to win if the case went to trial.
Members of Occupy St. Louis say the medium is the message, and their medium is occupation of a downtown St. Louis park.
Twenty-four members of the group are seeking a preliminary injunction that would allow them to renew their encampment at Kiener Plaza. Early Saturday, police arrested 27 protesters for violating the park's 10 p.m. curfew and took down tents. People with Occupy St. Louis had been camping since early October.