Black Friday sales targeted by protesters in Ferguson

About 75 demonstrators gather at Walmart and Target stores as busy sales begin

National Guard and police guard the Walmart on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Missouri on November 27th, 2014. Photograph: Ruth Fremson/New York Times

National Guard and police guard the Walmart on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Missouri on November 27th, 2014. Photograph: Ruth Fremson/New York Times

 

Protesters in Ferguson, Missouri are targeting Black Friday sales and major US retailers with peaceful demonstrations.

The latest tactic comes following days of violent street protests in response to a grand jury decision not to indict a white police officer the killing of an unarmed black teenager.

About 75 people started the latest protests inside a Walmart shop in another nearby suburb of St. Louis, chanting: “Hands up, don’t shoot!” as bargain hunters attended sales.

They dispersed peacefully when ordered by police, moving on to a Target store where they staged a similar protest.

More protests were planned for later on Friday.

Ferguson became a flashpoint for often troubled US race relations after officer Darren Wilson shot dead Michael Brown on August 9th.

The US Justice Department is inquiring into possible civil rights abuses, and US 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 fury in Ferguson, with about a dozen businesses torched and more than 100 people arrested in clashes with riot police.

No major incidents were reported on Wednesday or Thursday.

New strategy

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.”

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

Officer Wilson, who was placed on administrative leave, has said he feared for his life and was acting in self-defence when he shot Mr Brown.

The teenager’s family said he acted with malice and that he should stand trial.

Reuters