Dozens of protesters interrupted holiday shopping in the St. Louis area late Thursday and early Friday as part of the ongoing reaction to a grand jury's decision to not indict the Ferguson police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown this past August.
Protester Johnetta Elzie, who who had been tweeting and posting videos of the demonstrations, told the Associated Press that the group went to a Wal-Mart and Target in Brentwood, two Wal-Marts in St. Charles and one Wal-Mart in Manchester. KTVI-TV reported that in the suburbs of Maplewood and Kirkwood, several police cars and some National Guard vehicles patrolled Wal-Mart stores in case of protests.
Protesters spent a few minutes at each store, shouting inside. Officer in at least one store ordered them to leave. There was no immediate word of any arrests.
At the Manchester Wal-Mart, about two dozen people chanted "no justice, no peace, no racist police" and "no more Black Friday" after officers warned that protesters risked arrest if they didn't move at least 50 feet from the store's entrance, then began advancing in unison toward the protesters until they were moved further into the parking lot.
The mostly black group of protesters chanted in the faces of the officers -- most of whom were white -- as shoppers looked on..
The mostly black group of protesters chanted in the faces of the officers -- most of whom were white -- as shoppers looked on.
"We want to really let the world know that it is no longer business as usual," said Chenjerai Kumanyika an assistant professor at Clemson University. He added although part of the aim in disrupting Black Friday was to call attention to disagreement with the grand jury's decision and the way the case was handled, Kumanyika said it was also to highlight other forms of injustice.
"Capitalism is one of many systems of oppression," he said as the group cleared out of the parking lot...Try living in, say, Cuba, dude. Let me know how that works out for you, oppression-wise.