Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mayor's Staff Plots How to "Disarm" OccupySTL Members

More fun with Sunshine Law requests! Mary Ellen Ponder, a staffer for Mayor Slay, sent Jeff Rainford (Slay's Chief of Staff) an email suggesting a strategy for "disarming" the Occupy St. Louis members:

The text:


I would like to recommend that you start the meeting by asking them what they want from the City. I suggest this because I think it will disarm the occupiers. I also think it will make the meeting less hostile. If at all possible, I would like to know who Jeff plans to bring to the meeting.

When you ask the occupiers what they want from the City, they will say they want to continue their freedom to assemble in public spaces: they believe it is their individual right to come together and collectively express, promote, pursue and defend common interests. The right to freedom of association is recognized as a human right, a political freedom, and a civil liberty. They will say they believe this freedom, documented in the 1st amendment, trumps all other laws.

Also, i do not think we should move to remove them until after November 17th. On November 17th, the AFL-CIO and Jobs with Justice plan to rally and march with the occupiers. If we remove them before November 17th, November 17th will turn into a rally and march against the Mayor instead of a rally and march about joblessness.

I don't think it's a bunch of anarchist kids anymore. I think there is a decent number of labor peeps and veterans that support this movement.

Mary Ellen

Being but a humble distributor of the facts, I will refrain from comment.


  1. Seems pretty innocuous to me.

  2. This actually seems like a very positive letter Adam. It suggests that there were good people in the Mayor's office trying to do the right thing. I see nothing wrong with attempting to begin a meeting by lessening the tension. The real shame in all this is that the people did not listen to the cooler heads in the mayor's office.

  3. It proves to me that they are more worried about the mayors re-election than anything else, and that at least at some point they thought they were only dealing with anarchist kids, therefore no real threat, but now that labor is involved, gotta protect those votes.

    but whats up with the second paragraph? unless im missing something there is no point to it at all..

  4. Bahahaha Mary Ellen Ponder uses the word 'peeps'?