Ah, Black Friday. Every year after disguising Thanksgiving as a feast, Americans like to head to the corporate stores of America where they will form long lines in hopes of getting those holiday goodies for discounted prices. This day marks the beginning of the Holiday shopping season.
There are many proposed theories for the origin of the name “Black Friday”. The most popular one states that merchants typically incurred loses during the regular year (January to November) but after Thanksgiving the Christmas shopping season would begin and their profits would rise. Back in the 1980’s they used red ink to signal loses and black ink to signal profits, hence the term “Black Friday” as they used black ink so signal profit in their accounting books.
This Black Friday 2014 had an unusual spin. With the image of Darren Wilson going free still fresh in their mind, Ferguson protestors took to the shopping malls to “Occupy Black Friday”. This strategy was used as a way to vent their anger towards the system that let Mike Brown’s killer free.
Since the Grand Jury announcement was made Monday, there had been widespread looting and violence erupting all over the small suburb of St. Louis. Wednesday and Thursday were seen as more calm days in comparison to the storm that had previously erupted. In a movement called “Brown Friday”, Ferguson protestors all over the country, and especially in St. Louis, took the malls and corporate stores where they protested against the culture of oppression towards Blacks and minorities that comes with capitalism. They were peaceful. Their process included chants, (“No justice, no peace” and “Hands up, don’t shoot”) entering an establishment and lying down on the floor to interrupt the shopping experience of the customers.
The motto was to simply make the comfortable uncomfortable. This was a new strategy. Protestors know that protesting in their own neighborhoods did nothing, because no one was there to hear them. Protesting in their own neighborhoods gave others the opportunity to simply ignore their struggle and get on with their day. This new strategy makes their plea hard to ignore. As soon as protesters would walk into the malls, often high-end malls, the stores would close. According to the Facebook page of Michael Brown protestors, some of the malls affected were Plaza Fontenac, Galleria Mall and South County Mall. But these were not the only incidents. All over the country, people peacefully protested with lay-ins against corporate America and the unpunished death of Michael Brown.
In this video, protestors occupy the Galleria Mall in Clayton.