Demonstrators preparing for the announcement of a grand jury decision in the Michael Brown shooting case gathered in a St. Louis church Tuesday for what was described as "direct action" training.
The session in the basement of Greater St. Mark's church included instruction on techniques for peaceful civil disobedience as well as how to take notes and shoot video of police actions. One of its organizers was Lisa Fithian, a veteran of Occupy Wall Street demonstrations who was dubbed "Professor Occupy" in a 2012 magazine profile. "There is a significant effort to make sure that people's rights are protected and that there's no violence on either side," said Andy Stepanian, a spokesman for several protest groups. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon told a press conference Tuesday that "violence will not be tolerated" in the wake of the grand jury's decision, which is expected sometime in November.