Organizers who have held trainings for least 600 potential protesters of an expected grand jury decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson have a vision, and they say it’s a non-violent one, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We as a community of people, we aren’t going to use violent power,” organizer Michael McPhearson told a group of about 100 last night. “We’re going to use people power, to change things.” Included in their plan is one to “shut down” the St. Louis County seat of Clayton the morning of the first business day after the grand jury announcement.
McPhearson, the co-chair of the Don’t Shoot Coalition, joined with Julia Ho, a community organizer with Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, and others to give the crowd advice on how to protest peacefully and to keep themselves and others safe after the announcement. They expected four areas to emerge as protester “hot spots” after the announcement: the Ferguson police station, the stretch of a Ferguson business area that burned the day after the killing, the business district in Clayton, and the Shaw neigborhood, where a man was killed by a St. Louis police officer last month after the officer said the man fired at him. (Yahoo.com reports that the city of Berkeley, which adjoins Ferguson, warned residents to “make sure your home and family are prepared for a period of disruption, just as you would in the event of a storm,” the city advises, including stocking up food, water, gas, medications and other supplies.)