Ferguson Protests Target Black Friday Shopping, March Through Wal-Mart Locations

Ferguson protesters turned their attention to Black Friday shopping locations, disrupting stores around St. Louis on the busiest shopping day of the year.

The protests started Thanksgiving night, with demonstrators spending just a few minutes outside each store before moving on. Protesters shared pictures and tweeted about visiting four different Wal-Mart locations as well as a Target in Brentwood.

Protesters walked through aisles of the busy stores, shouting “Hand up, don’t shoot,” and “Shut it down!” Other protesters tried to keep shoppers away from Wal-Mart locations, singing “Back away from the Walmart, back away.”

Though police were called to at least one location and ordered the protesters to move, there were no immediate reports of arrests.

Despite the Black Friday protests, unrest has been down in the wake of the Michael Brown verdict. Protesters angry that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson was not indicted for Brown’s August shooting death sparked rioting for three consecutive days in Ferguson, but mostly remained home on Thanksgiving.

Tensions in the St. Louis suburb had appeared to have eased after two nights of violence and looting. National Guard troops patrolled the city for the fourth consecutive night, but the Thanksgiving holiday appeared to keep protesters in their homes. There were no reports of demonstrations in the St. Louis suburb, and for the first night since the Michael Brown verdict was announced, there appeared to be no arrests made.

Demonstrations were also down nationwide. Despite threats of protests at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, there were no major major disturbances. Police did arrest at least seven people during the event.

Protesters arrested in California had mostly been released by Thanksgiving as well. Close to 500 people were arrested across the state as protests shut down highways in major cities, but the close to 90 remaining protesters still in jail in Los Angeles were released on Thursday in time for Thanksgiving.