His name is John Burns, chief spokesman and treasurer and, as he put it earlier today, "chief bottle washer" for the Citizens for Better Transit.
Burns, 26, grew up in Florissant and graduated from Truman State with a degree in philosophy. He is married and does commercial retail work for rural telephone companies.
Last November, Burns, along with O'Keefe and Basel, participated in a "campus gulag" (video here) at Washington University that Adam Shriver at St. Louis Activist Hub has written about. The trio passed out literature that claimed the U.S. was "becoming a gulag state because of things like AmeriCorps, child labor laws, and the Civil Rights Act."Also last November the three attempted to sabotage a Show Me No Hate rally outside the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica that opposed the St. Louis archdiocese's financial support of a measure to defeat same-sex unions in Maine.
The trio then wrote "Free Abortions" on the sign and attempted to hold it up to the Catholics who were attending mass as the Basilica. They also shouted "what about health care?" while people were attempting to speak at the rally. In other words, John Burns, who presented himself as a fighter for free speech when complaining about the administration's response to the gulag, attempted to directly interfere with the LGBT community's ability to express themselves in a peaceful rally.Burns, who attended the recent Tea Party convention in Nashville, said today that he believes he first met O'Keefe at an intercollegiate studies seminar in Washington, D.C., where he spent a number of years before moving to Montana. He returned to St. Louis in 2008 and signed on with Citizens for Better Transit late last year.