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2003-05-21

St. Louis Police Stage a 'Pre-emptive Strike' and Arrest 27 Activists Prior to Demonstration

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The activist community in St. Louis is still reeling from a string of arrests and building raids that were carried out on Friday, prior to the opening of the Biodevastation7 conference and the World Agricultural Forum.

All told 27 people were arrested including a group of bikers who were arrested for riding without a bike license. Two buildings closely linked to the activist community were also raided. Police claimed they had reports that weapons were inside though no weapons charges have been filed. Police did confiscate items ranging from CD-Rom drives to building supplies to diaries to puppets.

At one of the buildings, named Bolozone 15 people were arrested for allegedly occupying a condemned building. The residents of the house said the building, which the city sold to the occupants last year, was only condemned on the morning of the raids.

Matt LeMieux, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri, said the St Louis police used housing inspections as a "trick" to get in without a warrant. The ACLU also accused the police of pre-emptively arresting activists prior to the protest.

  • Molly Bupre, member of the St. Louis Community Arts and Media Project. One of 27 activists arrested last week prior to the World Agricultural Forum in St. Louis.

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