Protestors Vow Commitment To 'Unending Demand For Justice'
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.
The idea behind the “Carnival of Injustice” was to use satire to bring issues to the public’s attention. Today’s demonstration included a paper mache piñata of a pig that had the names of every police officer involved in a fatal shooting in St. Louis since the August 9 shooting death of Michael Brown.
Santa Claus also made an appearance at the rally, holding a sign which read “All We Want For Christmas is Justice.”
Members of the protest wore makeshift gas masks and one man dressed as a court jester.
Eddie Berg was the youngest at the event today, being only two years old. He was at the protest with his father, Michael Berg, and grandfather, Richard Buthod. Buthod said he has been active in protests since the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson.
Berg said that he and Eddie have gone to many protests, and for this protest he actually let Eddie make the decision on if they were going to come.
“We were thinking of going to story hour, and I asked him, ‘Do you want to go hear stories or go to the protest?” Berg said. “He said ‘Protest’.”
Buthod said it he thinks it is extremely important for people of all ages, especially the young, to be involved in protests.
“They will not understand it when they are two, but when they are 22 they will begin to, when they are 42 they will much more fully, and when they are 82 they will know that their life had value, in part, because they were part of the history of standing up for justice,” Buthod said.
The march began at Kiener Plaza and moved to St. Louis City Hall followed by the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse. At both locations the demonstrators were met with locked doors and law enforcement officers in riot gear.
At City Hall, gates were padlocked closed in front of doors to the building, and approximately a dozen police officers stood on the stairs before the building.
One officer was wearing what appeared to be a name badge on his arm in support of former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. This sparked outrage with the gathered protestors and a member of the crowd yelled “Shame on you.”
The rally then proceeded to the Eagleton Courthouse, where barricades blocked all entrances to the building and more than a dozen U.S. marshals stood between the barricades and the building itself.
One of the law enforcement officers outside the building did speak with protestors and agreed to take their letters with a list of demands inside.
Several streets were blocked for short amounts of time, and the intersection at Broadway and Market was closed for a four a half minute die-in.
One member of the group, Juliette Jacobs, said that while the numbers of protests and attendees have been down in recent days, it is important to keep the movement alive and the issues in the public eye.
“I just want the world to know and everybody in California, Berkley, New York, and everywhere else... We are not tired; we are going to keep coming out here,” Jacobs said. “Maybe not in the thousands that we were and not every day like we were, but that we are going to keep coming out here and we encourage them to keep moving forward too.”
No arrests were made during the demonstration.