Countdown Clocks

Countdown Clocks

Tweets by @JGibsonDem

ST. LOUIS • City staff told Occupy St. Louis protesters that, effective at 3 p.m. today, they have 24 hours to move tents and comply with city law.

Eddie Roth, aide to Mayor Francis Slay and the city’s new chief performance officer, said that police and city park officials would enter the park after 3 p.m. tomorrow, and begin removing any structures still up.

Roth did not want to say exactly when police would move in. He said the park curfew begins at 10 p.m.

After that point, he said, police will ask protesters to leave. If they don’t leave, they could be arrested.

Roth, however, said he did not expect violence. He, and other mayoral aides, have been meeting with protesters for hours each night over the last two days.

The protesters have “made clear that they are not a violent movement,” he said. “And they have no intention of engaging in or provoking violence.”

The mayor has, so far, treated the protesters gingerly.

But, late last week, he announced in his blog that they’d be asked to leave soon. The protesters responded early this week, vowing to stay put.

Tuesday, the mayor agreed to send staff to meet with protesters.

Nothing, however, was immediately solved.