After the Raid
The hurtful truth: I'd like to commend you on "Meet the Anarchists" [Randall Roberts, June 25]. I read it with some interest, as I am the librarian at the Community Arts and Media Project (CAMP) and work for the Confluence, and yes, do consider myself more or less an anarchist. Ironically, we had some of our books stored at the Bolozone for safekeeping while we did renovation to our CAMP building; I guess I can kiss those subversive materials goodbye. (I really hope our dangerous books on Laurie Anderson and organic gardening haven't been urinated upon.)
But a couple of boxes of books is not really the point. The point is, we have, with a lot of hard work, formed a vibrant community of some of the most generous, beautiful, creative, fun-loving, peace-loving people I have ever met. People who believe in egalitarianism, in sharing, in speaking one's mind and the importance of leaving the world a better place than it was when you got there, and for our efforts we are being targeted by intelligence agencies, police and even our own city government in an effort to shut us down. Believe it or not, most of us are actually pretty nice people who would rather read a 'zine or do some tomato harvesting or go to a peaceful protest than even think about blowing things up.
Although the recent raids have deterred no one from continuing our activism, I can say that it actually is hurtful to come home and hear that some of your best friends have been arrested and that you are forbidden to enter the building you've been working on. It's an obvious injustice, and I'm glad people are talking about it. Interested readers can check the Web site www.stlimc.org for updates.
Beat it: Once again, liberal bullshit. Did you ever think to ask how the protesters were going to convey their message? What were they doing with the objects/evidence? When a bad element with a history of property damage and violence comes to my neighborhood, I like to know about it, and I don't feel that I should have to have a cozy little sit-down before they get there. I meet them at the door and tell them to beat it.
I agree, St. Louis should be a more broadly creative town. Does that mean allowing squatter transient clowns to come and interfere with the truly creative, intellectual minds that are trying to have a forum for progress? No.
Where's the oversight? I want to thank Randall Roberts for the most honest portrayal so far of the critics of genetic engineering and their efforts to rebuild this city. The police intimidation campaign during those two weeks in May diverted public and media attention away from our efforts to expose the dangers of genetically altered foods that we eat daily. U.S. agribusiness and companies such as Monsanto threaten the survival of people (especially farmers) and ecosystems around the world.
All of these events of police harassment give new impetus to the campaign for a civilian oversight board in the city. White activists have gotten a taste of what African-Americans have been enduring for years, which includes the suspicious murders of unarmed black citizens at the hands of the police and verbal and physical violence against the black community. This should inspire us to call our white aldermen to support the creation of a civilian oversight board with subpoena power and elected members in the city. All of the black aldermen already support the bill.
Mark Bohnert, board member
Community Arts and Media Project
Meet the tolerant, open-minded dad: I just read Randall Roberts' "Meet the Anarchists." I am cutting out the cover picture to the article and saving it for when my kids grow up and go to college. If they ever slack off, do drugs, join a cult or fail to get a real job, I will show them the photo of what their lives will probably look like.
The Facelift That Wasn't
Off with their bibs! Bless you for finally saying something about the brick bibs on the new Interstate 70 overpass columns [ Unreal, June 25]. Those half-assed decorations have caused me endless minutes of grief as I pass by them.
While I'm relieved to know others are just as nauseated by them, you did not go far enough when talking with the spokeswoman from the Missouri Department of Transportation. Who approved that lame idea in the first place? I picture a group of suited lunkheads staring at presentation models of these brick bibs and thinking, "Oh, half the brick is half the savings, and everyone drives by so fast, they'll never notice."
MoDOT's idiotic and useless design flourish makes them look both foolish and wasteful. And they don't need $500,000 to fix their mistake -- swinging some cheap sledgehammers would be perfect.