Peacemakers emerge in St. Louis after night of rage
Race Issues | Community comes together to help clean up the damage left by rioters
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 11/25/14, 03:51 pm
As smoke lingered over burned-out businesses in Ferguson, Mo., this morning, hundreds of St. Louis residents came out to help repair the destruction of the night before.
“For every one looter there are a thousand people willing to help,” St. Louis County resident Bart Bouchein told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Bouchein came in from the suburbs to help after seeing photos of the cleanup effort on Twitter.
Maria Flores, a local restaurant owner, expressed gratitude to friends and neighbors who came out to help sweep up broken glass and board the eatery’s windows. She also received a visit from some nuns from her church who promised a donation of $1,000 to assist her family.
“This is the Ferguson community,” Flores said. “When something happens, everyone is there helping each other.”
More than a dozen Ferguson businesses were burned in rioting last night after St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch announced a grand jury would not indict Officer Darren Wilson in the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown. Today in the Clayton area of town, near the Buzz Westfall Justice Center, where the grand jury met on and off for three months, a group of clergy-led protesters set an example of peaceful demonstrations.
About 140 people, according to the Post-Dispatch, marched through area streets chanting and praying while police looked on from a distance. The protesters gave different reasons for their actions. Some said they wanted justice for Michael Brown, some said they were protesting police brutality, and others said they wanted to raise awareness of racial inequality. Other peaceful protests and rallies were reported throughout St. Louis and in many other parts of the country.
“There are things that have affected us locally, but at the same time, it’s important to show solidarity with people in other cities who are facing the very same thing that we’re facing,” said Chris Manor with Utah against Police Brutality, who helped organize an event in Salt. Lake City.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.