I was at the Shaw protests earlier tonight.
The Stltoday article about last night is void of any real content and even the title is trying to get you to start reading the article from a very peculiar point of view. Protesters target? Really, target to me is a mischievous and intentional word choice here, used to discredit. Ask my friend Katie who got pepper sprayed. Ask myself, and the rest of my group, who got tear gassed. The police were doing the targeting. Also, there was countless chants including: “This is what democracy looks like,” and “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” and “What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now.” What is the one chant they highlight in the article: “They say ‘move back’ we say ‘fight back.'” Hmm…. I see how this article is going to go.
Oh yeah, did you catch that we got tear gassed. Katie got pepper sprayed. That is NOT mentioned in the article. There were A LOT of police. The SWAT van was out. The cops were in riot gear. Cops were pushing people. Chief Dotson mentions that protesters “attempting to storm the Quicktrip.” No, protesters walked into the parking lot, and then 50 or so engaged in a sit-in.
The cops got in a line and kept banging their batons and were legitimately intimidating and implying “we will use these on you if necessary.” I’ll try and upload photos and videos later. The protest was 100% non-violent and peaceful. Well, you know, by us. The police: not so much. We got tear gassed when we were dispersing and on the sidewalk. As we were walking back to finish the march, another cop line was lined up across the street, and they were standing there banging their batons on the street.
This is an outrageous little article.