Police shooting protests continue in St Louis
A weekend of peaceful daytime protests and nightly police standoffs is expected to continue today as organisers prepare for a wave of resistance they anticipate will lead to widespread, intentional arrests.
St Louis: A weekend of peaceful daytime protests and nightly police standoffs is expected to continue today as organisers prepare for a wave of resistance they anticipate will lead to widespread, intentional arrests.
Organisers of the four-day Ferguson October summit to protest the August police shooting death of Michael Brown are scheduled to train participants in nonviolent civil disobedience tactics Sunday morning.
On Monday, a "direct action" led by local and visiting clergy members is planned for Ferguson and other places in and around St Louis. Protest leaders don't plan to release details until shortly ahead of time to avoid tipping off law enforcement.
"We still are knee deep in this situation," said Kareem Jackson, a St Louis rap artist and community organiser. "We have not packed up our bags, we have not gone home. This is not a fly-by-night moment. This is not a made-for-TV revolution. This is real people standing up to a real problem and saying, 'We ain't taking it no more.'"
Organisers said beforehand that they expected as many as 6,000 to 10,000 participants for the weekend's events. Police were not able to provide a crowd estimate Saturday.
A crowd that organisers estimated at 3,000 marched through downtown St Louis on Saturday to protest Brown's death and other fatal police shootings in the St Louis area and nationwide.
Police reported no arrests or violent incidents as of late Saturday, when the protests fanned out to Ferguson and then a south St Louis neighbourhood where another black 18-year-old was killed by a white police officer just days earlier.
Two months after Brown's death sparked an initial wave of violent riots and led Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to summon the National Guard, the highly organised weekend brought many newcomers to St Louis.
The arrivals included Vietnam-era peace activists, New York City seminarians, many college students and hundreds of fast-food workers bused in from Chicago, Nashville and other cities.
The planned events began Friday afternoon with a march outside the St Louis County prosecutor's office, where protesters renewed calls for prosecutor Bob McCulloch to charge Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson officer, in the death of Brown, who was black.
A grand jury is reviewing the case and the Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation.
St Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said the city had enlisted extra officers and was prepared for trouble, though he hoped for the best.