A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Occupy Protestors close Martin Luther King Bridge in St. Louis

Jack Kemp forwards this:

14 Arrested in Occupy St. Louis March and Demonstration; Total Arrests Now at 51
By Tony D'Souza Fri., Nov. 18 2011 at 8:15 AM
Categories: Occupy STL

If city officials thought that last weekend's forced eviction of Occupy St. Louis' tent encampment from Kiener Plaza would spell the end of the movement, they were mistaken. Yesterday nearly 1,000 Occupy supporters marched from Kiener Plaza to the foot of the Martin Luther King Bridge.

Police arrested fourteen Occupiers for "demonstrating" when they sat on the roadway leading to the bridge and refused to budge. Those arrested were transported to the St. Louis Justice Center where some 37 other Occupy sympathizers have been booked since the beginning of the movement on October 1.

Yesterday's march to the MLK bridge was Occupy St. Louis' second-largest demonstration to date and came as Occupy movements across the nation marched on "landmark bridges" to celebrate the two-month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street protest. Hundreds of union members helped swell the ranks of Thursday's protest that also highlighted area joblessness.



This is an odd choice for a bridge closing; the MLK is hardly the main artery to Illinois (that would be the Poplar Street bridge.) It leads to the interior of East St. Louis, which can be described as the Kinshasa of the United States - or pick any other Third World hellhole with little running water, spotty electric service, etc. People use it when the PSB is overloaded, and generally for little else. It's renovation was entirely a government project, and no doubt it has received considerable stimulus funding. It was closed in 2009 to make major design changes (there had been at least 38 major accidents in the last several years because the bridge is inadequate for major traffic.)

It makes this an interesting choice for a protest closure. Much like the Occupy/99 cent special crowd,it is a throwback, an antique that has been refurbished for modern times. Originally named the Veterans Bridge, it was a former toll bridge that was actually built to relieve pressure on the Macarthur bridge, a thoroughfare long gone from the scene. (MacArthur used to serve the area as a free parking spot for Cardinal baseball games, but the surface is so ruined cars can no longer take advantage. It does still move cargo trains.) The majority of people using the MLK bridge are poor people of color from East St. Louis. So, the OWS crowd, in their zeal to protest, inadvertantly hurts poor working blacks by blocking access to their homes and jobs.

Of course, they wouldn't have the courage to block the Poplar Street; that is I40/U.S. 61 and they would wind up occupying the afterlife; they'd be road kill in the here and now. Commuters would not be very understanding of their actions...

So, leave it to this bunch to block a minor secondary thoroughfare, and annoy working stiffs and people of color! Also, a good many homeless reside in this particular area; they are taking the food from the mouths of the indigent by moving in. (My brother Brian argues that the main homeless advocate in downtown St. Louis - the Rev. Larry Rice - may well be assisting the protestors, which would explain why they remain in homeless territory. )

Why didn't they move to the Arch grounds? Wouldn't that have been far more visible and gotten them greater attention? I suspect they don't want to deal with the Feds here, but trespass on State and local property instead. Ditto the Old Courthouse, where the infamous Dred Scott decision was handed down. Where better to complain of unfairness than the steps of that historic site? They had no problem going to the Veteran's Memorial on Veterans day and annoying those who served their country with anti-war screeds.

Then, too, they could set themselves up in Lyon's Park at the foot of Anheuser-Bush. This park was named for the amazing Nathaniel Lyon, Abraham Lincoln's point man in Missouri, the man who single-handedly held this state in the Union. (See my tribute to the resourceful Gen. Lyon here This park lies at the end of Arsenal Street, where the old Federal Arsenal stood and where a good deal of the military/industrial complex resides today. As many OWS people think of this as the Citadel of Satan, why aren't they squatting there? The National Security Mapping Agency is there, as are several other such evil enterprises. Oh, and they could visit the A-B brewery for a refresher; A-B gives you free samples of beer if you take their free tour. And the historic Soulard neighborhood is full of jazz and blues clubs, bars and restaurants, and a good deal of food sitting in dumpsters just for the taking.

But, given the leftist tilt of the King of Beers' company, I suspect they don't want to offend the Inbev giant. And they certainly don't want to tangle with the Feds - even if their patron is in the White House. Lyon was a mighty abolitionist, too, and what they advocate is industrial serfdom, a nation that puts people back into the medieval yoke, so abolitionists would likely not be that popular. Besides, they no doubt have no clue about who Nathaniel Lyon was, or why he was important. They may be frightened of being called the Liars of Lyon, too.

So they engage in closing bridges to East St. Louis. THAT'LL SHOW EVERYONE!

In the end OWS amounts to the human equivalent of athlete's foot; annoying but largely irrelevant. This latest stunt speaks volumes.


I suspect they blocked the MLK Bridge because they could pick up more psychologically depressed and desperate protesters from the neighborhood there. In the white OWS "leadership's" mind, they were showing "solidarity with people of color."

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