By Tim Logan, February 11, 2014. Source: St Louis Post-Dispatch
James Houston of Take Back St. Louis gets set to chant during a protest on Monday, Oct. 28, 2013 of a TIF proposal package by Laclede Gas outside the company’s headquarters in downtown St. Louis. Photo by Christian Gooden, email@example.com
A St. Louis judge Tuesday put the brakes on an April vote that could have upended the city’s economic development incentives regime.
Calling it “punitive and unconstitutional,” Judge Robert Dierker placed a temporary injunction on the “Take Back St. Louis” initiative, which would have barred companies that engage in “unsustainable energy” production, or that do $1 million a year in business with those companies, from receiving city tax incentives. The measure was set for a citywide vote April 8.
Because ballots must be sent to the printer this week to meet that deadline, Dierker’s ruling essentially blocks that vote, at least for now, by forbidding the Board of Elections from taking any measure to make that vote happen. He scheduled a full trial on a lawsuit challenging the measure for March 31.
The “Take Back” effort was launched by Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, which has protested Peabody Energy for several years and collected 22,000 signatures last year for the measure. A MORE spokeswoman, Arielle Klagsbrun, said Tuesday that her group planned to appeal the ruling. But, she said, Dierker’s decision was disturbing. Continue reading
January 22 2013. Source: RAMPS
Seven protesters affiliated with the RAMPS campaign (Radical Action for Mountain Peoples’ Survival), MORE(Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment) and Mountain Justice are locked down to a 500-pound small potted tree in Arch Coal’s third-floor headquarters while a larger group is in the lobby performing a song and dance. Additionally, a helium balloon banner with the message “John Eaves Your Coal Company Kills”, directed at the Arch Coal CEO was released in at the Arch Coal headquarters.
“We’re here to halt Arch’s operations for as long as we can. These coal corporations do not answer to communities, they only consume them. We’re here to resist their unchecked power,” explained Margaret Fetzer, one of the protestors.
Arch Coal, the second largest coal company in the U.S., operates strip mines in Appalachia and in other U.S. coal basins. Strip mining is an acutely destructive and toxic method of mining coal, and resource extraction disproportionately impacts marginalized communities. Continue reading