On Monday afternoon, activist and author Cornel West was arrested by Ferguson police following at sit in at St. Louis University, ABC News tweeted. The Washington Post reported that approximately 1,000 protestors participated in the sit in, which began early Monday morning. The protests are the capstone to a weekend of civil disobedience, which included street closures and silent marches throughout the city. Ferguson police have reportedly tried to quell the protests, but have not been successful.
According to WaPo, West came out for the event Sunday night, preparing himself to be arrested in solidarity with the other protesters. Huffington Post reported that West said during a discussion Sunday: “It’s a beautiful thing to see people on fire for justice, but I didn’t come here to give a speech. I came here to go to jail.”
After marching in two separate groups for two hours chanting the cause's chief slogan, "Hands up, don't shoot," the group met at the university. Campus security allowed the protestors onto campus after a student presented a valid student ID, claiming the crowd as his guests. Several students left their dorm rooms to join the protest and hand out bottles of water.
Protest leaders told the crowd their focus was on "ending white supremacy and addressing systemic problems people face regardless of race." They also mentioned their purposeful use of Columbus Day as the day for their sit-in, calling the controversial world explorer and purported discoverer of North America "the original looter."
The weekend of protests is part of Ferguson October, a month-long event dedicated to continuing the discussion about the death of Michael Brown — an unarmed 18-year-old black man — who was killed by Darren Wilson, a white police officer on Aug. 9. Protests began after Brown's body was reportedly left out on the street for four hours following the altercation, and escalated quickly thereafter. Wilson has yet to be indicted.
Brown's murder is not the only one being protested. Demonstrations erupted on Oct. 8, after an off-duty St. Louis cop killed black teen Vonderrit Myers Jr, by shooting him 17 times in Shaw, a town a few miles south of Ferguson.
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