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Activists gather in St. Louis for Occupy Midwest conference

Jay R. Kurtz Jr. speaks at a press conference at Kiener Plaza.
Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio
Jay R. Kurtz Jr. speaks at a press conference at Kiener Plaza.

Occupy movements from across the country are gathering this week in St. Louis to revive their populist protests against banks, corporations and government.

Rachael Perrotta, a media coordinator from Occupy Chicago said the regional conference will stage at least four non-violent group actions in St. Louis against various companies including Monsanto.

“Welcome to the American Spring," Perrotta said. "Our movement is expanding. We're growing. Winter was the time for internal organizing. Spring is the time to get back into the streets." 

Catherine Lipinski got involved with the local Occupy movement last October at Kiener Plaza. She said she hopes the Midwest conference will enable the movement to stage larger group protests across the county.

“What this conference is about is getting the cities here together to talk about what's next," Lipinski said. "Where do we move forward? We've had phase one, which in my opinion was a huge success. And, now we're moving into phase two," she said.

18 Occupy groups have endorsed the conference, among them Austin, Des Moines, Kansas City and Nashville.