Pro­test­ers tar­get Black Fri­day sales in Fer­gu­son

The Financial Daily - - INTERNATIONAL -

FER­GU­SON, Mo. - Pro­test­ers in Fer­gu­son, Mis­souri be­gan tar­get­ing Black Fri­day sales at ma­jor re­tail­ers overnight in a new tac­tic to vent their anger at a grand jury de­ci­sion not to in­dict a white po­lice of­fi­cer who fa­tally shot an un­armed black teen.

Kick­ing off their lat­est strat­egy in­side a Wal­mart in an­other nearby sub­urb of St. Louis, about 75 demon­stra­tors protested peace­fully, chant­ing "Hands up, don't shoot!", be­mus­ing bar­gain-hunters push­ing their brim­ming shop­ping carts.

They dis­persed peace­fully when or­dered by a small group of po­lice, mov­ing on to a Tar­get store where they staged a sim­i­lar demon­stra­tion. More protests were planned for Fri­day.

Fer­gu­son be­came a flashpoint for of­ten trou­bled U.S. race re­la­tions af­ter of­fi­cer Dar­ren Wil­son shot dead Michael Brown on Aug. 9. The U.S. Jus­tice Depart­ment is prob­ing pos­si­ble civil rights abuses, and Pres­i­dent Barack Obama has called for re­flec­tion on the dif­fi­cul­ties mi­nori­ties face in the coun­try.

The grand jury's de­ci­sion on Mon­day not to charge Wil­son prompted a spasm of fury in Fer­gu­son. About a dozen busi­nesses were torched and more than 100 peo­ple were ar­rested in clashes with riot po­lice that rum­bled on into Tues­day night.

But Wednesday and Thurs­day were far qui­eter, with no ma­jor in­ci­dents re­ported.

Be­fore head­ing in con­voy to Wal­mart late on Thurs­day, a group of some 100 demon­stra­tors ate Thanks­giv­ing din­ner, sang, prayed and dis­cussed their new strat­egy in the base­ment of a St. Louis church.

"We are bruised but not bro­ken," said Cathy Daniels, a woman known to the ac­tivists as "Momma Cat" who pre­pared the food. "We are re­group­ing. We are not go­ing to take this ly­ing down."

Fer­gu­son, home to about 21,000 peo­ple, is a pre­dom­i­nantly black city where al­most all the po­lit­i­cal lead­ers and po­lice are white.

Mis­souri Gov­er­nor Jay Nixon, who de­clared a state of emer­gency well ahead of the grand jury be­ing an­nounced, has de­ployed about 2,200 Na­tional Guard troops to the Fer­gu­son area to quell vi­o­lence.

Wil­son, who was placed on ad­min­is­tra­tive leave, has said he feared for his life and was act­ing in self­de­fense when he shot Brown. Brown's fam­ily said he acted with mal­ice and that he should stand trial. -Reuters

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.