As Ferguson readies for more protesters, a look back
Protesters and activists will once again descend on Ferguson, Missouri this weekend in an organized show of support for Michael Brown, the unarmed black teen who was shot and killed by officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9. Groups including Hands Up United, Organization for Black Struggle, Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment are planning a “weekend of resistance” starting on Oct. 10.
Brown’s death in August immediately sparked weeks of violent protests and put the city under siege. Now, nearly two months after the shooting, tensions remain high in the St. Louis area. In one recent incident at a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game, supporters of Wilson were confronted by Brown supporters, resulting in a shouting match of hurled insults. Protesters also interrupted a St. Louis Symphony performance by singing and unfurling banners.
This weekend’s events will differ from past demonstrations in that protesters will not be forced by police to keep moving and stay off sidewalks. A federal judge ruled earlier this week that the “five-second rule,” a crowd-dispersal tactic used by police that barred people from standing in one place, violated peaceful protesters’ rights to free speech and due process.
Missouri law enforcement have begun preparing for this weekend’s event, as well as the possibility that the grand jury investigating the incident might not indict Wilson, who has remained in hiding since the shooting. Many fear that violent riots could resume if Wilson is not indicted. Area police are regularly meeting and coordinating with the FBI should another outbreak of violence occur, according to Reuters.