Pre-emptive arrests in St. Louis




At least 20-30 people have been arrested and we need your help. Police invaded two known movement homes Friday morning 5/16, apparently in “pre-emptive raids” to prevent their attendance at Sunday’s demonstration against the World Agricultural Forum. Others were taken into custody while riding their bicycles to the BioDevastation gathering at Forest Park Community College, and the police have left the bicycles lying along the road. Sarah Bantz – organizer for MORAGE and a speaker at the BioDevastation conference – was arrested for having a container of Vitamin C capsules, which police are claiming to be an illegal drug.

Police have also entered the Randall Building, office of the Gateway Greens/Green Party USA, St. Louis IndyMedia, the Confluence newspaper, and other organizations, searching for “violations” and who knows what else.

For the last two weeks, the St. Louis police have been spreading rumors of “Seattle-like violence” in order to ratchet up the levels of tension, rationalizing their procurement of riot gear and new “crowd control” weapons.

UPDATE: The alert to call the Chief of Police Joe Mokwa, (314-444-5624) demanding their immediate release and and end to harassment of the movement against genetic engineering and corporate agribusiness was SUCCESSFUL. Cyclists and others were released on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning (5/16-17), but are still working to get back their belongings and get on the road to DC.

Debbi of the Liberty Cabbage Theater Revival writes, “The last few days have been pretty surreal . . . many of us don’t even have our bikes or sleeping bags anymore, and it looks like we’re stuck here for at least a few more days. But several lawyers have offered to take on our cases, and we’ll most likely file a civil suit for civil rights violations with the aid of the ACLU.”

Please keep calling St. Louis officials: info. available here. Continuing updates on the Bicycle Circus are on the Caravan’s Diary page.