Recent Updates

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 8, 2015
Contact: Arielle Klagsbrun, arielle@organizemo.org
MORE's Statement in Response to Peabody Energy's Announcement of Corporate Layoffs
 
Today, Peabody Energy announced that it is laying off around 250 employees from its St. Louis corporate office. In response, Madeline Buthod, a member of Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment and a St. Louis Public School parent, released the following statement: 
 
In 2010, Peabody received tax breaks on $61 million of purchases to keep their 500 corporate jobs downtown. The City of St. Louis said that this tax package was a worthy investment, worth the $2 million taken away from the St. Louis Public Schools to pay for Peabody's new CEO office and corporate gym. Now that these jobs have disappeared, what will happen to Peabody's giant tax breaks? Will the City of St. Louis finally hold a corporation accountable and demand that Peabody begin to pay the taxes it should for the next 5 years? Will the St. Louis Development Corporation use its authority to clawback money owed by Peabody so that students in the St. Louis Public Schools can get money back for more textbooks and smaller class sizes?...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MORE's Statement on Passage of SB 5: A Huge Step Forward for Justice!

We would like to commend the legislators who took a step in the right direction today, and stood with fellow Missourians in the search for justice in the region and the abolition of predatory municipal courts and their practices. We urge the Governor to sign this bill as soon as possible.  For low income people in the region, these are vital changes.  The most important issues are the ending of jail time for unpaid traffic tickets, the cap in court costs at $300, and the rules on conflict of interest for judges.

Tymon Reed, someone who was recently incarcerated for traffic tickets in Velda City said, “This is a wonderful step forward for justice in this region.”

Sean Bailey, who has been in and out of jail for years because of traffic tickets he has been unable to pay commented, “It's about time that jail time is eliminated for municipal changes. This will have a huge impact on my day to day life. I just got a new job, and now I won't have to worry about losing it over sitting in...


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On August 12th, Esrail Britton, a nineteen-year-old St. Louis native, was in Ferguson protesting Mike Brown's murder. At about 1am that morning, Esrail was shot by a St. Louis County police officer three times. The officer claimed Esrail pointed a gun at him from five feet away; a gun with none of Esrail's DNA or fingerprints was recovered far from the scene. Esrail was charged and released from jail on no bond; his judge determined that he was not in any way a threat to society and his health condition was so critical that the jail could not provide the care he needed. However, upon his release, the St. Louis County Police Union mounted an aggressive media campaign, saying they were "disgusted" with Esrail's release. 

A few weeks later, Esrail was put back in jail with a $200,000 cash-only bond. He has now been in jail for more than five months, has not been receiving proper medical care, and cannot move the shoulder in which he was shot, because he has not been allowed to attend physical therapy.

Earlier this week, Esrail's lawyer got his bond reduced to...


This was an exciting week for the legal collective. See below for updates. 

Arrestee meeting

This Tuesday evening, we had our second meeting of arrestees to organize, build community and support one another. There were about 40 arrestees present at the meeting. We formed working groups, including:

  • Shut down the workhouse
  • Abolish municipal courts and bench warrants
  • Monthly support group for arrestees facing felonies
  • Drop the charges for protesters
  • Know Your Rights training/political education
  • Outreach/recruitment

Our goal is to organize with arrestees so that we are not only supporting them as they navigate the criminal “justice” system, but also organize to fundamentally change that racist system. These working groups will be meeting over the next couple of weeks. Our next all-arrestee meeting will be the first Tuesday in March, location TBD. If you are interested in joining any of these groups (even if you were not arrested in the protests), please email fergusonjs2014@gmail.com.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 2, 2015

Media Contacts: Julia Ho, 806-535-4768 and Jeff Ordower, 314-267-4664

Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE) calls for abolition of racist municipal courts, moratorium on municipal bench warrants

Community group pressures County Exec Steve Stenger to take a stand on municipal court reform

St. Louis County--This afternoon, Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE) held a press conference in front of County Executive Steve Stenger’s office to release their study, “Transforming St. Louis County’s Racist Municipal Courts” and call on Stenger to take a stance on the issue of municipal court reform. In the wake of Ferguson,the St. Louis County municipal courts emerged as a prime example of entrenched, structural racism in the region. MORE called on County Executive Steve Stenger to use all powers at his disposal to correct the injustice and predatory of racism of the municipal courts.

 

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