600 expected at Occupy the Midwest conference in St. Louis

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 | 3:18 p.m. CDT

ST. LOUIS — Organizers of the Occupy the Midwest conference in St. Louis expect up to 600 people from nearly 20 Midwestern cities to attend.

The conference begins with a march to the Gateway Arch starting at 5 p.m. Thursday. Events through Sunday will include workshops and at least four protests, including one against St. Louis-based Monsanto about its role in the food supply and one against Bank of America. Occupy leaders declined to elaborate during a news conference on Wednesday.

The Occupy movement began in New York in September because of concerns about economic issues, particularly high corporate profits and income inequality. The movement quickly spread to other places.

Organizers say the regional Occupy event in St. Louis is part of the next phase of the movement, which they say will continue to grow.

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