Only the sound of footsteps were audible as protesters marched down the streets of St. Louis past City Hall with duct tape on their mouths in silent protest over the police-involved shooting deaths of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York .
Activists got loud, however, as they ended up down at the landmark St Louis Arch, flooding the entrance to the Visitor’s Center chanting, “FTP, F**k the Police” and “Hands Up Don’t Shoot.”
A mass message sent out to Ferguson Action subscribers Saturday morning read, “TODAY (SATURDAY), 2PM: STL’s United We Stand Silent March. Meet at Union Station downtown (18th and Market).”
Chants also included, “Mic check,” “You Can’t Stop the Revolution,” “If We Don’t Get It, Shut It Down,” “Black Lives Matter,” and “We have nothing to lose but our chains.”
Some marchers took the duct tape from their mouths and placed it on a pillar outside the St Louis Arch Visitor’s Center. One livestreamer was shown placing additional pieces of duct tape on the pillar, making it seem like more protesters had placed their mouth coverings there.
“Wake Up! Wake Up! Wake Up!” yelled the protesters repeatedly, as they called for the opening of the gates to the St. Louis Arch Visitor’s Center and, after shaking the gates violently, as seen from the camera of another livestreamer. The individual who had identified herself as Heather at a previous Ferguson Action meeting told another person that the Visitor’s Center told protesters it was closed for the rest of the day. The crowd moved on shortly afterward.
The Ferguson movement recently held a “Transition and Transform” meeting involving many activists from the Occupy movement, National Lawyers Guild, and Stop Mass Incarceration. The movement began forming in the weeks leading up to the riots the night of the grand jury decision not to prosecute the officer who shot Mike Brown.
One commenter on livestream, RisePDX, wrote of the march: “SMEAR THAT BUILDING IN BACON AND SAUSAGE LOLOLOL,” referencing the derogative slang that refers to police as pigs.
“Global Occupy News Network re-streaming Solidarity,” wrote another.
DrekRush wrote, “If those stupid pigs were doing their job & not sitting in a car wasting taxpayer $ they’d be alive,” seeming to refer to the two New York Police officers shot in cold blood just one week ago. A funeral for one of the officers was held Saturday morning.
Though this comment remained, another – rebuking “Josh” for criminal actions and stating criminal actions called for consequences – quickly disappeared. Earlier in the day, Ferguson Acton called for supporters to protest on behalf of #FreeJosh.
Just after 8AM, Ferguson Action supporters were called out for a morning protest. The message read, “RIGHT NOW (SATURDAY): 10AM at St. Louis County Justice Center (100 S. Central, 63105) to #FreeJosh, 18 y/o targeted by the cops pic.twitter.com/PpBDAPLF11.”
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana