As protests subsided in downtown Ferguson, Missouri, over the Thanksgiving holiday, groups of protesters made their rounds at area retail chains to stage demonstrations while residents began their Black Friday holiday shopping.
ABC News reports the protesters spent a few minutes in each store shouting lines like “Hands up, don’t shoot!” and “Shut it down!” while walking through the aisles. Demonstrators were reported to have visited a number of Wal-Mart and Target stores in the area.
Demonstrations in the Ferguson and St. Louis areas erupted earlier in the week following the announcement that a grand jury had declined to indict white police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, a black teenager.
A few of those demonstrations turned violent as protesters torched about a dozen storefronts and others clashed with police.
But the streets had fallen mostly quiet by Wednesday and Thursday, according to Reuters.
Thursday night there were no police or National Guard troops standing guard outside the Ferguson police station, which had previously been a focal point for demonstrations.
The St. Louis County Police reported early Friday morning that no arrests had been made overnight.
Those who were still protesting decided to take their message to the retail stores, where they knew they would find crowds to hear their message.
One group met to eat Thanksgiving dinner in the basement of a St. Louis church before heading out.
Cathy Daniels, a leader of the group, cooked the dinner for about 100 people.
“We are bruised but not broken,” she said. “We are regrouping. We are not going to take this lying down.”
Chenjerai Kumanyika, an assistant professor at Clemson University, stopped outside a Wal-Mart to explain why his group had decided to disrupt the holiday sales with protests.
The group, which had been chanting “no justice, no peace, no racist police” and “no more Black Friday,” had just been asked to move their demonstration at least 50 feet from the store’s entrance.
“We want to really let the world know that it is no longer business as usual,” he said, according to Fox News. He added that the demonstration was meant to not only highlight the group’s dissatisfaction with the grand jury decision but to also underscore other forms of injustice.
“Capitalism is one of many systems of oppression,” he said.