Protests | St. Louis Public Radio

Protests

People line the sides of West Florissant during a protest held to marke the one year anniversary of Michael Brown's death.
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

After a Ferguson police officer fatally shot Michael Brown Jr., local artist Damon Davis hit the streets. What he saw there conflicted with TV news reports and social media posts he’d seen that emphasized clashes between protesters and police.

“It was absolutely nothing like what was being portrayed by the media,” Davis said.

Instead of clashes with police, he noticed people exercising their first amendment rights. So when budding filmmaker Sabaah Folayan contacted Davis about collaborating on a documentary about the protests, he felt compelled to work with her. That documentary, “Whose Streets?” will be released locally and across the nation tonight. 

Hundreds of demonstrat0rs gathered in downtown St. Louis to express their disgust, concern and fear with President-elect Donald Trump on Nov. 13, 2016.
File | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis, like many parts of the United States, has seen an uptick in marches and protests since President Donald Trump took office.

In late January, thousands took to the streets for the St. Louis women’s march. Many of those participants have also been a part of demonstrations calling for immigrants’ rights and protections for the LGBTQ community.

Priscilla Dowden-White is a history professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis who studies civic activism in the 20th century. She says movements of the early to mid 20th century are rife with lessons for today’s protesters — but that comparing the two too closely can be reductive.

St. Louis/East St. Louis native Harry Edwards is a renowned sociologist, specializing in sports protest.
Wikimedia Commons

No one who speaks out has ever been welcomed with open arms, for the most part, even when people say things like ‘I understand the message.’ The reality is that silence has been evil’s greatest and most consistently dependable ally.

So said Dr. Harry Edwards, a prominent sociologist who specialized his research and activism in the areas of sport, race and protest, on Friday’s St. Louis on the Air. He has also written several books, including “Revolt of the Black Athlete” and “The Struggle that Must Be.”

Edwards also happens to be a St. Louis native.

Protesters gathered outside the Terminal 1 departure area at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport on Jan. 29, 2017.
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated to include information about Sunday's protest and official responses at 7:50 p.m.

St. Louisans gathered throughout the region over the weekend to protest President Donald J. Trump's executive order barring citizens of seven mostly Muslim countries from entering the United States.

Standing Rock encampment sits under fresh snow
Provided by Kathy Dickerson

When Dominique Aneekaneeka arrived at the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s protest camp last month, she was struck by the site’s organization.  She saw improvised roads lined with tents and teepees, bathrooms, a communal kitchen and large community fire pit. The tribe had even arranged trash pickup at the camp, which for months has attracted people from across the United States — from other Native Americans to would-be allies.

Friends comfort each other outside Ladue Horton Watkins High School as students gather to support the mother of a student who was burned with a hot glue gun.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Nov. 21 with town hall meeting information — Ladue School District officials are "hopeful" after a meeting Friday with members of the St. Louis County NAACP, according to a district spokesperson.

The discussions came after two days of student protests over recent racially charged incidents against black students at Ladue Horton Watkins High School. Three students were disciplined.

Thomas Harvey, of Arch City Defenders, said Ferguson city prosecutors were trying to send a "chilling" message to people who would come there to protest.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Are protests effective agents of social change? What actions are justified during a protest? How does the language used to describe protests impact people’s perceptions of certain events?

Throughout history, individuals have joined together in groups of various sizes to protest against powerful authority figures or perceived injustices.

Protesters and police outside St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce's house on Tuesday, May 15, 2015.
Lawrence Bryant | St. Louis American

A St. Louis jury Wednesday found activist Elizabeth Vega guilty of wiping pepper spray on police Chief Sam Dotson’s shirt — which drew a third-degree assault charge against an officer — during a May 2015 protest.

Vega, who is the leader of the Artivists STL, faces up to one year in jail on the misdemeanor charge. Her sentencing hearing will be held on Nov. 21. Associate Circuit Judge Nicole Colbert Botchway allowed Vega to remain out on bond until sentencing.

Activists continue to demonstrate against city attorney Stephanie Karr as a police vehicle idles in front of them near Karr's home on Wesley Avenue Monday evening.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

People calling for the ouster of Ferguson city attorney Stephanie Karr chanted and carried signs in a protest that wound its way from the police department to Karr’s house Monday evening.

It was the very first day on the job for new police chief Delrish Moss. But it wasn't the first time Karr has been the subject of controversy.

Rev. Osagyefo Sekou and Jay-Marie Hill pose for a portrait. The two wrote 11 songs together in six days just days after meeting at a demonstration.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The pulpit, streets full of protesters and a recording studio don’t have much in common.  But for the Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou, these three environments offer the chance to spread a gospel of equality.

“What are the ways that we’re going to wrestle with saving the democracy? Music can do that; the pulpit can do that; and engaging in the rich tradition of civil disobedience can do that,” said Sekou.

The Smithsonian bought the mirrored coffin, created by local artists as part of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Lawrence Bryant |St. Louis American

A new initiative will pay former prisoners to make art. The project stems from the Mirror Casket, art produced during Ferguson related protests. According to one artist, there’s a direct relationship between issues of police brutality and mass incarceration.

“Whether your life is taken by a bullet or is taken by a prison cell, that life, that potential, is still taken away from this person,” said De Andrea Nichols.

Levy's image of the Michael Brown memorial in Canfield Green the night of August 10, 2014
Joel Levy |Courtesy of Documenting Ferguson

The Documenting Ferguson project launched in the midst of escalating protests that called for justice after the death of Michael Brown. As protests quickly grew into the Black Lives Matter movement -- with similar protests in cities like Baltimore and Cincinnati -- documentary efforts also spread from the St. Louis area to other cities.

Protesters are greeted by lines of state and county police during a demonstration march on the Ferguson police station on August 11, 2014.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

An upcoming conference on Ferguson has promised “not to re-litigate the past,” but organizers instead hope to draw lessons for the future on both the rights of protesters and the difficult job that police officers face when they put on their uniforms each day. “The Ethics of Ferguson – Policing, Prosecuting, and Protesting” is the name of the conference, which will take place at Harris-Stowe State University on Friday, Nov. 20.

Eugene Redmond, Professor and Poet Laureate of East St. Louis
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

In the past year, St. Louis has been saturated by a groundswell of art related to social justice concerns, specifically issues of the region’s racial inequalities. For scholars, fans and former members of St. Louis’ Black Artists Group (BAG), the trend is remarkably familiar.

Protesters and police after shooting on the one year anniversary of Michael Brown's death
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated as of Mon., August 10, 2015 at 3:45 p.m. with father's statement, originally updated at 1 p.m.

The man who St. Louis County Police say was shot by detectives after he fired on them Sunday night near protests in Ferguson has been identified as Tyrone Harris, 18, of Northwoods, according to the police department.

Harris has been charged with four counts of assault on law enforcement in the first degree, five counts of armed criminal action, and one count of discharging or shooting a firearm at a motor vehicle. A cash only bond has been set at $250,000.

Fifteen-year police veteran Officer Jill Gronewald joined the Ferguson department August 24th, just weeks after Michael Brown's death by former Ferguson officer Darren Wilson.
Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio

Jill Gronewald was two weeks away from starting her new job as a Ferguson police officer when Darren Wilson, a now-former member of that same department, fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Ferguson October protesters
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., is adding protest artwork and signage to its permanent collection. Emily Bland, one of the artist-protesters, said the Smithsonian’s decision to conserve Ferguson protest art could cement the protests’ importance in the public eye.

Protesters march down W. Florissant Ave.
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

The call for a national day of protest was met with scant participants in St. Louis on Tuesday. Despite the low number, protesters remained committed to calling for social change in the face of police violence against minority populations. 

“Legislation got to change. Laws got to change. Everything must change. We are sick of police officers having the carte-blanche right to take lives and not answer to it,” said Pastor Paul Hudson.

The protest in Clayton Friday, March 20, 2015 had a funeral theme, complete with a white casket carried through the streets.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

More than 100 people marched through the streets of Clayton Friday in a continuation of protests begun last August after Michael Brown was killed.

Longtime Ferguson resident Ruffina Farrokh Anklesaria chants "Give Peace a Chance" at a pro-Ferguson and pro-police rally outside the Ferguson Police Department.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

About 75 police and Ferguson supporters demonstrated outside the city's Police Department Sunday afternoon, protesting against hostility toward police and calls for the city’s mayor to resign.

St. Louis County Police Department Chief John Belmar gives update on case involving to shot police officers
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Detectives are working around the clock to determine who shot two police officers outside the Ferguson Police Department Wednesday night. That was the message St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar delivered in a press briefing Friday evening.

Two Ferguson activists have received an award for their writing in the wake of Michael Brown’s August death.

DeRay McKesson and Johnetta Elzie won the 2015 Howard Zinn Freedom to Write Award.

 the Rev. Dr. William G. Gillespie Residence Hall and Student Center at Harris-Stowe State University
Harris-Stowe State University website

After a heated exchange on Martin Luther King Day between protesters supporting “reclaimMLK” and Harris-Stowe State University students, the university and protesters are working to turn confrontation into conversation. On Tuesday student representatives and administrators met with a Ferguson activist to start a dialogue and “hopefully move forward as a community.”

The "Carnival of Injustice" marched through downtown St. Louis.
Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

The “Carnival of Injustice” marched through downtown St. Louis Friday morning, making stops at City Hall and the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. courthouse – both of which were locked and guarded by law enforcement officers.

More than 30 people gathered at Kiener Plaza, and the crowd was very diverse.

Church Leader: Ferguson Is About All Of Us

Dec 2, 2014
The Very Rev. Mike Kinman prepares for an interview Dec. 2, 2014, with 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh at St. Louis Public Radio.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

Religious leaders have actively addressed Ferguson issues and participated in Ferguson demonstrations since August. For the Very Rev. Mike Kinman, dean of Christ Church Cathedral, getting involved comes down to one word: Listen.

The Fashions R Boutique was one of 13 businesses in Dellwood that burned down during Monday's riots following the announcement of the Darren Wilson grand jury decision.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

 

Echoing the mayor of neighboring city Ferguson, the mayor of Dellwood is adding his voice to the criticism of Gov. Jay Nixon and demanding answers in the aftermath of Monday's riots.

Mayor Reggie Jones said Dellwood was promised its business district would be protected by National Guard troopers, but he said "they failed to arrive."

While Ferguson has "gotten more attention," Jones said, his city saw the most damage and he wants to make sure his city also gets the resources it needs to recover. 

Demonstrators at city hall Wednesday afternoon 11/26
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

More than a hundred protesters attempted to enter St. Louis City Hall Wednesday, but were not allowed through the doors. After they were denied entry, they crowded in front of the entrance, chanting “Let us in,” and “Who do you protect? Who do you serve?”

Police in riot gear quickly responded in force, telling everyone to leave because it was an “unlawful assembly.”

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Capt.Dan Howard said the protest became unlawful when someone “made contact” with a security guard.

Circus Harmony performers join with members of the Galilee Circus in July in Haifa, Israel.
Photo provided by Jessica Hentoff

Jessica Hentoff has gone all the way to Israel to bring people of markedly different perspectives together. This summer, Hentoff, artistic and executive director of Circus Harmony, took members of her tumbling group, the St. Louis Arches, to the Middle East. There, the Arches joined with Arab and Israeli youth from the Galilee Circus, where they worked and learned together, setting aside religious, political and cultural differences.

Many businesses along South Grand Boulevard suffered glass damage. Nov. 24
Emanuele Berry | St. Louis Public Radio

Late Monday, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch announced that a grand jury had voted it would not indict police Officer Darren Wilson in the August death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. Protests began soon after the announcement in Ferguson and St. Louis, followed by acts of arson and violence.

Tuesday on "St. Louis on the Air," we tried to get a better idea of how the communities are reacting and what is planned.

Guests

Friday afternoon, Ron Johnson of Missouri State Highway Patrol asks protester to keep the peace in Ferguson over the course of the night.
Durrie Bouscaren / St. Louis Public Radio

In a special, live evening edition of "St. Louis on the Air," we discussed the grand jury's decision regarding the August shooting death of Michael Brown by police Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson.

Guests

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