Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dear Common Dreams Readers:
Corporations and billionaires have their own media. Shouldn't we? When you “follow the money” that funds our independent journalism, it all leads back to this: people like you. Our supporters are what allows us to produce journalism in the public interest that is beholden only to people, our planet, and the common good. Please support our Mid-Year Campaign so that we always have a newsroom for the people that is funded by the people. Thank you for your support. --Jon Queally, managing editor

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Demonstrators marched through St. Louis on Saturday to protest, among other things, the shooting death of Michael Brown. (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Thousands March in St. Louis Demanding Justice, End to Police Violence

'The killing of innocent black youth is systemic... It has to stop — everywhere.'

Jon Queally

Several thousand community members marched alongside activists from around the country in downtown St. Louis on Saturday as they demanded attention be paid to a national trend of police violence and called for justice in the case of Michael Brown, a local unarmed black teenager who was shot and killed by a white police officer, Darren Wilson, in the suburb of Ferguson on August 9th.

Though more than two months have now gone by, local citizens and their allies from across the country expressed anger, frustration, and sadness that so far no charges have been brought against Officer Wilson. "Arrest him now! Arrest him now!" was both a stated demand and a chanted refrain during the march.

Part of a four-day convergence that organizers have called Ferguson October, the afternoon march brought forth a mix of messages that hinged on the racial politics of policing that have been exposed in a series of high-profile and shocking examples in recent months, with the case in Ferguson being only the most well-known.

As the New York Times reports:

They came from places far from Ferguson, Mo., states like California, New York and Oregon. And while the story of a white police officer’s shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson in August was what drew throngs of people to the St. Louis area for a weekend of protest, some also came with sweeping messages about income inequality and the minimum wage, race relations, immigration policy and distrust about police procedures nationwide.

“The killing of innocent black youth is systemic,” said Adeline Bracey of Chicago, who marched here on Saturday in a crowd of demonstrators down the middle of Market Street, not far from the Gateway Arch. “It has to stop — everywhere."

In the two months since the shooting death of Michael Brown, 18, in suburban Ferguson, a steady stream of demonstrations has often been local and personal, but the events this weekend, and expected to continue through Monday, were a test of the wider reach of efforts that have grown out of the case.

The result was a mix of races and ages. It brought a blur of signs with messages referring to the police officer who shot Mr. Brown, “Indict Darren Wilson Now,” but also broader notions, “Protest then vote.” Among an array of interests gathered: seminarians, voting rights advocates, college students and, perhaps most notably, a sizable contingent from labor unions, many wearing yellow T-shirts with the words: “Justice for all of us.”

And the St. Louis Post reports:

Saturday’s march included a large papier-mâché likeness of Michael Brown with his hands up. It’s a pose that’s become common at protests since Brown’s shooting.

Antonia Cuffee, 30, drove 13 hours from Baltimore with six others to join in the protests.

“We felt we had to come out here to be part of change,” Cuffee, a policy worker, said.

“It’s a shame so many black people are getting killed by police,” she said. “Just by the nature of being black we are targeted, we are suspect.”

The crowd was peaceful and jovial, and organizers implored them to stay that way. “We need you to show discipline and respect,” one organizer said.

Small groups came from as far away as Washington, D.C., and California to join the events.

Marlene Sinquefield and her two sisters arrived in St. Louis from Oakland, Calif., Friday night.

“There’s no way we weren’t going to come here for this,” Sinquefield said. “It matters. It’s important. When I have kids someday, I want them to know I stood up for their future.”

LaDarius Torrey, 19, a sophomore at Georgetown University in Washington, said he and his two friends came for similar reasons.

"There's been a lot of mischaracterizations made about young black males in this country," he said. "We need to have serious discussions on race or it could get worse. I don't want to be next."

Later in the night, a smaller protest marched in the Grove district of Ferguson and clashed with police officers as they attempted to stage a sit-in at a local convenience store. As police fired tear gas to disperse the grounds, several people were arrested.

As NBC News reported:

Protesters clashed with police at a St Louis gas station convenience store early Sunday, hours after a peaceful day of marches and rallies marking two months since the fatal police shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. A group of about 200 marched on a QT (QuikTrip) in the Grove district, where some briefly staged a sit-in. A police car was attacked, prompting at least 10 arrests, and tear gas was released to disperse the crowd.

St Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said on Twitter to say that protesters were “throwing rocks” at officers and that arrests had been made for “continued illegal behavior.” That prompted campaigners to mock Dotson using the hashtag #tweetlikethechief.

#TweetLiketheChief:


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.

 

'Infuriating': Biden Rebuked for Continued Opposition to Supreme Court Expansion

"What does Biden 'agree' with doing?" Mehdi Hasan asked. "What does the leader of this country want to do to stop the increasingly fascistic assault on our democratic institutions and basic rights?"

Kenny Stancil ·


'We Need Action': Biden, Democrats Urged to Protect Abortion Access in Post-Roe US

"The Supreme Court doesn't get the final say on abortion," Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tina Smith wrote in a new op-ed.

Kenny Stancil ·


Motorist 'Tried to Murder' Abortion Rights Advocates at Iowa Protest, Witnesses Say

Although one witness said the driver went "out of his way" to hit pro-choice protestors in the street, Cedar Rapids police declined to make an arrest.

Kenny Stancil ·


'A Hate Crime': Oslo Pride Parade Canceled After Deadly Shooting at Gay Bar

A 42-year-old gunman has been charged with terrorism following what Norway's prime minister called a "terrible and deeply shocking attack on innocent people."

Kenny Stancil ·


'We WILL Fight Back': Outrage, Resolve as Protests Erupt Against SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Demonstrators took to the streets Friday to defiantly denounce the Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority after it rescinded a constitutional right for the first time in U.S. history.

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo