For Immediate Release: June 29th, 2015
Activists Successfully Launchwww.PowerBehindThePolice.com Website and #UnveilTheProfit Week of Action
First Day Exposes Andrew Taylor of Enterprise and Greg Boyce of Peabody
ST. LOUIS -- On Monday at 11:30AM, activists and organizations kicked off #UnveilTheProfit Week of Action and launchedwww.PowerBehindThePolice.com, a website that shows the webs of power and connections of 7 top CEOs of the St. Louis region. The press conference, featuring a mock St. Louis 250th Birthday cake decorated in Enterprise colors and topped with a police paddywagon, was hosted at the Enterprise Holdings headquarters in Clayton.
At the press conference, Darrick Smith and Frankie Edwards, both of whom were jailed at the Hall Street “Workhouse,” called out Enterprise Executive Chairman Andrew Taylor for his leadership role at the Centric Group, which owns the Keefe Group, a prison service provider that profits off of mass incarceration through its contracts with over 800 private and public jails providing services including commissary, inmate phone calls, and inmate email. Darrick Smith told of inmates forced to fight for a snack from the Keefe group. Taylor’s web of relationships in the region (included on www.powerbehindthepolice.com)places him on the Boards of Civic Progress, Washington University, and CityArchRiver. After the press conference, 50 protestors marched to the front entrance of the Enterprise Headquarters.
Activist Rosalind Brown said, “Enterprise both benefits from and perpetuates the systemic racism in the St. Louis Region.”
Later in the day, activists visited the home of Greg Boyce, outgoing CEO of Peabody Energy, at the Chase Park Plaza. In 2010, Peabody demanded tax breaks on office and gym renovations at their downtown headquarter in exchange for retaining local jobs. These subsidies extracted $2 million in tax breaks that the St. Louis Public Schools will not receive for education. But now, a mere five years later, Peabody is laying off 150 local employees, neither creating jobs for St. Louisans nor being a responsible public citizen. Activists called on Peabody to refund the lost tax dollars since they have not made good on their job promises.
Activists also spoke about Peabody’s mining and colonialism on Navajo lands in Arizona, leaving local communities rife with pollution and still lacking running water or electricity. Since its inception, Peabody is also responsible for one percent of the planet’s carbon emissions.
Reginald Rounds, a MORE leader, stated, “Peabody both extracts resources to pollute while simultaneously extracting money from our local economy, a horrible combination for my community and other black and brown communities across the country.”
The #UnveilTheProfit Week of Action will go through the end of the week in the lead up to the Veiled Profit organization’s Fair St. Louis July 4th celebration. The Veiled Prophet organization has a long history of being a place for the white, rich elite of St. Louis to plot, build relationships and maintain their power.
Each day, new CEOs will be unmasked by different organizations, culminating with a large action at the Arch Grounds on Thursday, July 2nd at 11AM. After the Week of Action, activists from around the region and nationally will lay out their vision of what a just and transformed St. Louis region could look like by using the hashtag #STLFreedomLooksLike.
Spokespeople and researchers are available for interviews all week.
Photos from today available here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153489500738556.1073741829.251179843555&type=3