Saint Louis University has commissioned a sculpture to be erected on campus that administrators say they hope “captures the spirit and importance” of a weeklong “Occupy SLU” protest last fall on the urban campus that decried oppression, racism, racial profiling and police tactics.
For six days in mid-October, community activists refused to leave the St. Louis campus in a protest intended as an extension of the summertime riots that had wracked nearby Ferguson over the police shooting of Michael Brown…
The demonstrators left only after the university agreed to all 13 of their demands, one of which was a “mutually agreed upon commissioned artwork.”
While I missed it in the heat of all the far more violent protests taking place in nearby Ferguson, this was apparently the crowning example of how the recent protests truly were a restructuring of the old Occupy Wall Street camps. They even took the name “Occupy” in the title. The descriptions weren’t far off either, with masses of tents on the public grounds and the highly disrespectful act of flying the United States flag upside down. Unlike the generally failed Occupy protests the previous year, this group actually convinced the university to give in to a full list of 13 demands, as shown in this document.
It’s only a side note, but I found the naming of the local groups rather interesting.
After mutually respectful discussions, grounded in trust and with a shared commitment to addressing racial inequality and poverty in our community, Tribe-X, the Metro St. Louis Coalition for Inclusion and Equity (M-SLICE), and Saint Louis University will support the following actions to help further this aim and, at the same time, permanently end the encampment on the SLU campus by 2:30 p.m. , Saturday, October 18, 2014.
So the Metro St. Louis Coalition for Inclusion and Equity is known as “M-SLICE” over there? Wouldn’t that actually be M-SLCIE? Of course, I’m not sure if any of the participants were English majors at SLU, but you might want to give the promotional literature a second pass.
Exit question: what sort of a statue does one put up to honor an encampment making demands of the university which had nothing to do with the events in Ferguson and accomplished their goals by essentially taking the quad hostage? I think a granite reconstruction of two guys robbing a convenience store would be a bit bulky, and if you’re working in marble or granite it would probably be hard to recreate all the bags of chips and racks of cigarettes over the counter.