Ferguson Protesters Boycott Black Friday For Justice — VIDEO
How about a dose of protest with your discount shopping: Black Friday Ferguson protests broke out at retail stores across the country on Friday as many Americans got a head start on their holiday shopping. Demonstrations were held at numerous major shopping spots in the St. Louis area, such as the Target in Kirkwood, Missouri, and Walmart stores in nearby Manchester and St. Charles, Missouri. The protests are part of the nationwide movement, Blackout — Boycott Black Friday, in an effort to raise the consciousness of millions of Americans about police brutality and the justice system.
Many of the protesters standing in solidarity with Ferguson and Michael Brown's family held sit-ins inside the big-box stores in St. Louis County and beyond, displaying "hands up, don't shoot" placards and even teaming up with workers' rights activists there to protest unfair wages and hours.
The Associated Press reported that protesters at the Manchester Walmart, who congregated outside the store entrance, risked arrest after police officers advised them to move to the parking lot. Chenjerai Kumanyika, an assistant professor at Clemson University who was part of the Manchester demonstration, told the AP: "We want to really let the world know that it is no longer business as usual."
According to Bloomberg News, no arrests have been made by St. Louis County Police at the six stores and shopping malls across the St. Louis area. However, videos from social media show protesters holding sit-ins or marches through several big-box stores, including the Target Kirkwood, being escorted out by police officers.
Ferguson Black Friday protests later gained traction in New York City, where a large crowd convened outside the famous Macy's in Herald Square, chanting "hands up, don't shop."
Prior to the Black Friday protests in solidarity with Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was killed on Aug. 9 by police officer Darren Wilson, about 100 protesters in the St. Louis area ate Thanksgiving dinner and discussed strategies at a church in St. Louis, Reuters reported. "We are bruised but not broken. We are regrouping" activist Cathy Daniels told Reuters.
Black Friday protests will continue across the United States, as the two movements — an end to police brutality and unfair wages for hourly wage workers — merge. Here are some recent scenes from U.S. shopping centers...
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