Saturday, May 17, 2003

Saturday morning and a jolt of energy sent me to the basement for some exercise. Midway through my "routine" I received a call from our oldest daughter. I was happy to hear from this 24 yr-old self-declared anarchist today. Last night one of her friends called to tell us they'd been arrested.

We checked the evening news, and sure enough, there they were. Well, not their pretty little faces, but the name and address of the house that police raided (which we quickly identified as her house, which they call the BOLOZONE). The World Agricultural conference is being held right in River City this week. Naturally, the anarchists are interested in exposing the anti-life-nano-bio-technical nature of those nasty chemical engineers at MONSANTO who run the organization. Next to Anheiser-Busch, Monsanto is likely the next most important (read $$$$) corporate giant in St. Louis. It seems that a number of (200-50,000 depending on whose counting) protesters are in St. Louis staying at "homes" in the area and being fed, we can safely assume, non-genetically altered vegetarian food, by the residents in these "homes." The "homes" like the one my daughter lives in are inhabited by artists and puppeteers and grass root organizers and you know the rest. They don't have 2 cents between them. The house was once condemned, and the city sold it for $800 to some rehabber-anarchists. The group that lives there has been rehabbing it for two or three years. They've done some hard labor, like a new roof, a concrete retaining wall, a garden, maybe interior renovations (i've never had the courage to go inside). But the work and improvements are obvious from the sidewalk. In a neighborhood like this one, these kinds of improvements stand out!

When the police caught wind of the national protesters (the 200 to 50,000) converging on the River City, they decided to cut 'em off at the pass, so to speak --this was once the wild west, ya know. In all probability, the $$$$$ folks at Monsanto made a few phone calls to the city and - well, you know how it goes- the city inspector was sent out to those condemned houses to throw those squatters out on the street - after a night in jail. First thing the inspector did, wisely on his behalf i'll say, was to rip that building permit out of the window, before escorting the police to arrest all the people who live there. And what a "lucky break" says the policeman, that they found roofing nails, metal rods, and concrete forms in the house to confiscate. Those nasty 200 (or is that 50,000) protesters (the puppeteers?) were going to throw these things at the Monsanto led Agro supporters. The local news channel was allowed to film a table in the house that had an obvious brown bottle with a rag in it with roofing nails all around it on the table. The residents have stated when interviewed, after they got out of jail, that the items were the same things every renovated house has in the garage. But the news reporter on TV was saying the words, "And the police found the makings of homemade bombs and nails and whips" etc. just as the table of objects appeared on the screen. A brown bottle with a rag in it now looks awfully suspicious.

Our daughter has never before been arrested (of course, there are things you shouldn't tell your parents). She has a degree in Art, tries to live off her art sales, and tutors mostly immigrant children at the city library for money to really live on. The police took some of her art with them. I don't blame them, some of it does look dangerous to me. I'm her mother. And she can't get back in to the house for several days, at least. She most misses her bite-plate and her bicylce. She has the use of our car, which is parked in front of her now condemned house, but her driver's license is locked in the house. And she won't drive without a license. Probably a wise a move.

Here's a kid that will no walk into a building through and exit door. She never breaks rules. But she calls herself an anarchist. She does believe in equal rights and equal opportunities for all human beings.

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