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Occupy St. Louis goes on the road

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 6, 2011 - With their Kiener Plaza tent city now gone, activists in Occupy St. Louis have been holding events around the region to highlight the economic conditions that are at the heart of the movement.

This evening, Occupy activists plan to hold an open house for south St. Louis resident Annie Quain, who says she is in danger of losing her home to foreclosure because of the demise of her painting business and the rising interesting rate on an adjustable-rate mortgage that she obtained to pay for home repairs.

The event is among actions slated to be held around the country by various Occupy groups to highlight the nation's housing problems.

Meanwhile, some Occupy activists are among 50 Missourians, including union members and retirees, who left Sunday for a bus trip to Washington. The group is to take part in various Occupy events around the nation's capital this week.

The local participants include Jonathan McFarland, who said in a statement, "I'm part of the 99 percent that politicians in Washington have been ignoring, and it is time that Congress listens to us, not just corporate lobbyists from K Street and their campaign contributions. We're going down there to the corridors of power to make our presence felt. We need good jobs and an end to foreclosures now."

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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