Ferguson ‘die in’ forces mall closure

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A popular St. Louis shopping mall closed Friday as protesters blocked Black Friday shoppers during a demonstration against the grand jury decision not to indict the officer who fatally shot Michael Brown, according to multiple reports.  

More than 100 protesters staged a “die in” on the third floor of the Galleria, lying down on the floor and impeding access to a number of stores on the biggest retail day of the year.

{mosads}According to a local Fox affiliate, protesters were down for four and a half minutes, representing Michael Brown’s deceased body.

The demonstrators originally entered the mall chanting “black lives matter” and “stop don’t shoot,” encouraging shoppers to join the march, according to USA Today. Several shoppers, and even some Macy’s employees, stopped to chant and walk with the group. Other stores closed up after the rally began. 

Protesters at major St. Louis retail stores started on Thursday night and have continued through Friday. Largely organized on Twitter, boycotters have targeted malls and Wal-Marts. 

Activists are using a variety of hashtags to coordinate. 

The “die in” Friday was planned using the hashtags #NotOneDime, #Blacklivesmatter and #Stlblackfriday.

Earlier protests Thursday night and Friday morning used the hashtag #BlackOutFriday and #BlackoutBlackFriday.

Twitter users are also replacing their profile pictures with a black box as part of the Friday protests.

ABCNews reported that St. Louis protesters spent a few minutes at multiple Wal-Marts Thursday night and Friday morning, shouting things like “Hands up, don’t shoot!” and “Shut it down!”

Johnetta Elzie, who has been following the protests while tweeting pictures and videos, showed demonstrators stopping at four different Wal-Marts.

Early Friday morning, Elzie tweeted: “A national @Walmart boycott could be our generations Montgomery Bus Boycott. #JohnCrawford #BlackOutFriday hmmmm”

Ferguson-affiliated demonstrators are joining picketers fighting for higher wages at the retail giant. On Friday, union-backed groups hit Wal-Marts in cities including Chicago, Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Oklahoma City and St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Eighteen-year-old Michael Brown was fatally shot on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis. Rioting and protests have been ongoing since it was announced Monday that Darren Wilson, the officer who killed Brown, would not be charged with any crimes. 

Witness have given conflicting testimony over the physical altercation that led to the shooting. Some claim Brown was running away or surrendering when he was shot, while others recall Brown running at Wilson.

There have not been reports of any arrests during the Black Friday protests. Hundreds of protesters nationwide were arrested in the first two days following the grand jury decision.

This story was posted at 9:44 am and updated at 4:03 p.m.

Tags Ferguson Michael Brown

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