Police Make Mass Arrests on Jefferson After Protesters Block I-64/40

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Protesters completely blocked traffic on I-64/40 eastbound near downtown St. Louis on Tuesday, October 3. - PHOTO BY DOYLE MURPHY
  • PHOTO BY DOYLE MURPHY
  • Protesters completely blocked traffic on I-64/40 eastbound near downtown St. Louis on Tuesday, October 3.
A large group of protesters blocked I-64/40 tonight for more than 30 minutes before exiting the highway and marching north down Jefferson Avenue.

See also: I-64 Shutdown Led to 100+ Arrests (PHOTOS)

The protesters were met with a line of riot cops at Market and Jefferson on the western edge of downtown St. Louis. With the street blocked off at both ends, livestreams showed protesters, including state Representative Bruce Franks (D-St. Louis), repeatedly asking nearby officers for direction. Officers ordered the crowd to "move back," but there was there nowhere to go.

"Move where? Move where?" Franks shouted.

Observers watch as as traffic backs up after protesters blocked I-64/40. - PHOTO BY DOYLE MURPHY
  • PHOTO BY DOYLE MURPHY
  • Observers watch as as traffic backs up after protesters blocked I-64/40.

At 8:23 p.m., the cops ordered the group to sit on the ground and began making arrests.

The group began chanting, but, at least initially, did not resist. Police cuffed them and led them off one by one. "You are under arrest for being on the highway," police told one man who questioned why there had been no order to disperse.

PHOTO BY DOYLE MURPHY
  • PHOTO BY DOYLE MURPHY

The protesters executed the stealth maneuver around 7:30 p.m. after initially meeting at Schnucks in the Central West End. But while some did meet there, others headed to the highway in their cars — and managed to use them to block other cars and let their comrades out on foot.

The protesters then marched down the highway, shouting and chanting, as cars waited helplessly behind them. Traffic was backed up all the way to Dogtown.


Among those arrested, according to those in attendance, were journalist Jordan Chariton of the Young Turks, the livestreamer Rebelutionary Z and at least one legal observer. The livestream cut off abruptly as an officer told the videographer he was under arrest.

Franks himself tweeted a message that suggested he was under arrest at 8:28 p.m. — and sure enough, just after 10 p.m., the state representative posted on Facebook that he was in a cell in the Justice Center with veteran activist Stephen Houldsworth.


His cellmate, Franks wrote, was "OK," asking his partner not to worry.

Earlier in the night, police could be seen loading people in vans on the outskirts of the assembly. Police announced the following morning that 143 demonstrators had been taken into custody.

By 9 p.m., police appeared to have concluded the arrests. They lined up at Market and Jefferson, facing those who remained.

By 10 p.m., protesters had largely left Market and Jefferson in favor of the Justice Center, where their comrades were being held. About 100 or so protesters were outside the Justice Center around 10:10 p.m., but the crowd seemed ready to go home.

PHOTO BY DOYLE MURPHY
  • PHOTO BY DOYLE MURPHY
Protesters are seeking to raise money for those arrested via the Funded Justice site.

See also: I-64 Shutdown Led to 100+ Arrests (PHOTOS)



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