A weekend of protests and rallies in St. Louis marking two months since unarmed teenager Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer will culminate in a day of civil disobedience Monday, according to organizers. More than 100 people who plan to participate attended a training Sunday focused on how to participate in nonviolent civil disobedience. "This is not a game or a joke. It's real life. We're taking risks. You could be hurt," trainer Lisa Fithian, with the Alliance of Community Trainers in Austin, Texas, said to the group.
Those in attendance at the training at Lafayette Park United Methodist Church were instructed on how to protect themselves if they are handled by authorities in a rough manner, how to remain peaceful and what their rights are in the midst of or after an arrest. "We are not trying to provoke the police. Civil disobedience is to expose the violence of the state, but being peaceful in the process," said trainer Tania Unzueta, with the National Day Laborers Organizing Network Chicago.
The group that organized the weekend of marches, rallies and services said they are planning to stage between two and 10 acts of civil disobedience in the St. Louis area on Monday. "These actions have been a part of every major movement for change," their website, FergusonOctober.com said.
Similarly to the march and rally that drew thousands to the streets of St. Louis on Saturday, people of different races, ages and parts of the country showed up for the civil disobedience tutorial. "I would hope that our voices could be heard. I want to show solidarity," said participant Monica Foxwell, 48, who added that she has been taking part in protests since Brown was killed. Saturday's “Justice for All” march was peaceful, but nighttime protesters clashed with police, and 17 people were arrested, according to authorities.
— Rick Brown and Elisha Fieldstadt