Feb 21 2007
The Occupation Project in Saint Louis
At the Robert A. Young Federal Building on Wednesday (edited, Thursday, Feb 22)
In an attempt to report this as accurately as possible, this is yet another revised version that has been submitted by those who took part in the action. Thanks!
On Wednesday, February 21, four members of the Atonement Affinity Group attempted to visit Senator McCaskill’s office in the Robert A. Young Federal Building at 1:50. As they approached the metal detector in the lobby, they were stopped, told to wait for special federal security officials, and then told that they would not be allowed into the building because the stated destination of McCaskill’s office was locked up for the day, with no one in it. Just minutes earlier, however, two others had gone up to McCaskill’s office and saw that there were staff members present and the office was open. The security officers in the lobby said they were just following orders and the information their commanders gave, despite the inconsistency. The normal procedure in the building is for visitors to pass through the metal detector and to proceed without being asked their destination.
After getting on the cell phone with McCaskill’s DC office and being given some hope for a 4:00 meeting, the group mentioned this to security and decided to go back outside and join others who were holding banners. At one point they were told by St. Louis City police that they would be arrested if they attempted to re-enter the building.
After confirming with the DC office shortly before 4:00 that the St. Louis office was open, the group then decided to re-enter the building. They were stopped at the security station and told that they were not allowed to enter the building. The security officers refused to listen to anything about the DC office’s confirmation of receiving the group around 4:00. Ultimately, two members of the group, Suzanne Renard and Jean Durel, were detained 45 minutes and issued $125 citations for “failure to comply with the directions of a federal police officer.”