Rolling Monday Mourning Protests Begin At Mayor’s House
Photo by Wiley Price / St. Louis American
Six Months After Michael Brown Killing, Casket Left At Mayor’s Home
Carrying a coffin and tombstones with the names of those shot and killed by police, protestors led a funeral procession down Mayor Francis Slay’s street in South St. Louis at 6:45 a.m. on Monday, February 9.
They left the coffin on his doorstep, rang the doorbell and began making loud mourning cries in front of his house on the 3800 block of Robert Avenue.
Frederic Chopin’s Funeral March played in the background, as the group of about 25 – all dressed in black – stuck the fist-shaped tombstones in Slay’s front lawn.
“This is Monday Mournings,” said Elizabeth Vega, leader of the activist group called the Artivists. “We are here because the mayor has repeatedly locked us out of City Hall. So we know need to come to his house. This is putting all people in power on notice.”
She said today kicks off the rolling protest called Monday Mournings, where Ferguson protestors pledge to go to the homes of city officials – since they are not listening to them in the streets.
Today also has special significance as the six-month anniversary of Michael Brown Jr.’s death at the hands of former Ferguson cop Darren Wilson.
One yard sign stated, “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.”
It’s the Mexican proverb currently being used in the protests supporting the 43 missing male students from the Raul Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers College of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero. Protests are being held throughout Mexico and the United States – including on the campuses of Harvard, MIT and Boston University.
The Artivists printed the names of those killed by police on the fist-shaped tombstones, including Michael Brown Jr., VonDerrit Myers Jr., Kajieme Powell, Antonio Martin, Issac Holmes and Ledarius Williams.
“The fists are the seeds of the movement,” she said. “The young, black and brown lives that are continuously killed by the police without accountability.”
The group left a copy of their demands on top of the coffin, which included:
- Signing legislation for a civilian oversight board of police work that includes subpoena power for the board members.
- Terminating the practice of hot-spot policing, which they said “is only more racial profiling.”
- Enacting a whistleblower program for officers who want to report other officers.
- Restoring the residency requirement for police.
- Implementing a summer jobs program for youth.
- Meeting with Ferguson activists to discuss racial inequities in St. Louis.
- Denouncing and requesting the termination of police officers Jason Flanery (who shot and killed Myers) and Randy Hayes (who killed Powell).
- Pushing for more TIF-funded projects on the north side.
Activist Derek Robinson said, “Every Monday morning, we will wake up our city officials until they correct this legal system.”