Black Lives Matter: Ferguson Protesters Stage ‘Die-Ins’ At St. Louis Shopping Center

Black Lives Matter: Ferguson Protesters Stage ‘Die-Ins’ At St. Louis Shopping Center
Photos by Justin Baragona
Photos by Justin Baragona

Less than a week out from the announcement that a St. Louis County grand jury will not indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, protests have continued throughout the St. Louis area and the nation. On Black Friday, demonstrations temporarily shut down numerous shopping centers in and around St. Louis, disrupting the busiest shopping day of the year and impacting a number of retail businesses. Protest organizers arranged for another action on Saturday. This time they targeted the Brentwood Promenade, a shopping center just outside the city limits of St. Louis.

The action started at 12 PM local time, as numerous protesters entered a Trader Joe’s and staged a ‘die-in,’ with demonstrators lying motionless on the floor of the store. After a few minutes, the protesters marched in a line and chanted as they exited the store.

 

Once they left Trader Joe’s, the protesters joined another group already gathered across the parking lot at Bed, Bath and Beyond. At least 100 demonstrators then entered the store and marched through the aisles, chanting the whole time. Police officers were lined up both in and out of the store.

From there, the crowd proceeded to march through the shopping center’s parking lot and towards the street. The group, now well over 100, blocked traffic on Eager Ave. At this point, more police officers showed up at the location and lined up opposite of the protesters. After a brief standoff and a statement from the police commander, protest leaders moved the crowd towards the sidewalk. From there, they began marching up the street.

The march made its way to Hanley Ave., a large and busy thoroughfare. Police marched alongside the protesters, informing both marchers and press that they needed to remain on the sidewalk or they would be subject to arrest. At the corner of Eager and Hanley, police officers arrested a man for walking on the street. The officers claimed that the man, who traveled from Denver with members of his church, had been repeatedly warned about wandering off the sidewalk.

After the arrest, there were brief standoffs between police and protesters. Police continued to warn the crowd that they could not enter the street. It appeared that law enforcement was hoping to contain the crowd and not allow them to move along Hanley. However, protest leaders were able to lead the march along Hanley without incident or further arrests. The group eventually came upon a Buffalo Wild Wings. Protesters were going to walk into the restaurant and disrupt business, but the doors were already locked. They then started chanting in front of the BWW and staged another ‘die-in.’

After the ‘die-in,’ the planned action wrapped up. Further actions were scheduled throughout the day and evening in and around St. Louis.

Below is a gallery of images from the event:

 

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