For the past few weeks, a small group of rag-tag occupiers have set up a shanty town in Keiner Plaza, the site of many St. Louis Tea Party rallies. They have done so without a permit and without insurance — things the city demanded of the St. Louis Tea Party before they were allowed use of the space. Demonstrators plug their laptops and space heaters into the park’s power outlets. Should an accident occur, the lack of insurance will place the city on the hook for liability. Yesterday in an interview with Mayor Slay’s spokesman Jeff Rainford, I learned that the city isn’t exactly keen to bring the group into compliance with the law.
The cost for renting out Keiner Plaza isn’t cheap, though not as expensive as permits for usage of federal park space. A letter to my STLTP Co-Founder Bill Hennessy detailed a list of actionable and monetary requirements before the city would allow an August 4th, 2011 Tea Party event to take place:Typical lying nonsense from Dana Loesch regarding the Occupy movement.
Page two:The city should have evicted the occupiers when the free permit was refused and city law broken. When the St. Louis Tea Party lost its insurance the night before the November 2009 protest, we had to scramble to replace it, or the city would have disallowed the demonstration. Rainford’s excuse for the city’s allowance for breaking the law was that the occupy group may not have beeen able to afford the permit, but they were able to afford a Cardinals World Series sign.Rainford tried to make this about protecting free speech, so if it is, why then was the city less interested in the Tea Party’s free speech? Why did the city demand that the Tea Party pay for their free speech via permits and insurance while giving the occupiers a pass? Why did the city attempt to withhold the Tea Party’s right to free speech and peaceful assembly by revoking use of Keiner the night before a rally due to insurance? By Rainford’s logic, that would be the promotion of one group over another before the law, which itself is a violation of civil rights.So the city is refusing to enforce the law because the self-described “peaceful” occupy group may act like domestic terrorists and riot and damage property? Isn’t that more reason to stop this now? The city makes itself a larger accessory the more this continues.
Now the bigger question is why the hell did Slay's Chief of Staff Jeff Rainford go on KFTK's The Dana Show?
Adam Shriver at our sister blog, the St. Louis Activist Hub, has more:
First, Mayor Slay's Chief of Staff Jeff Rainford copied Dana Loesch's inflammatory rhetoric against OccupySTL, ridiculously claiming that the group was "unruly" and falsely suggesting that they were relieving themselves all over Kiener Plaza rather than in the port-o-potty's provided by local unions:
Jeff Rainford, Slay's chief of staff, said the camps are getting unruly, the plaza is beginning to smell like urine, and a few were recently arrested for public intoxication.Then, Rainford mimicked Loesch again by seemingly suggesting that the OccupySTL group might want violence:"All I'm trying to do is to keep this from becoming Oakland," he said. "I'm trying to get this solved with no violence."So I guess it really should be no surprise that Rainford decided to appear on Loesch's radio show today to explain why the city has decided they need to kick the Occupy group out of Kiener Plaza. After all, Loesch has been trying to portray the campers at Kiener as filthy, violent, parasite-infested, astroturf, drug-crazed, sexual deviants from the very beginning, so it makes perfect sense that Rainford would help provide validation to St. Louis's Queen of Hate Radio.
Still, he said, he understood that the occupiers may not have the same plans
From the 11.07.2011 edition of KFTK's The Dana Show: