As millions of shoppers across the country marched to stores in search of post-Thanksgiving deals, demonstrators interrupted Black Friday shopping and encouraged a retail boycott in a new tactic to protest the death of unarmed teen Michael Brown, for whom some have dubbed the day "Brown Friday."
Under the Twitter hashtag #BlackOutBlackFriday, protesters are attempting to draw attention to a confluence of issues following the grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson: systemic racism, police brutality, economic inequality—and what they see as a justice system that is unwilling to address these problems.
Beginning on Thanksgiving night, activists in Ferguson and across the country flocked to major retailers with signs chanting, "Hands up, don't shoot!" amid shoppers rushing for discounted toys and electronics.
"We want to really let the world know that it is no longer business as usual," Chenjerai Kumanyika, an assistant professor at Clemson University, told the Associated Press.
Others are protesting working conditions for low-wage retail employees. In Chicago, about 100 demonstrators outside a Wal-Mart chanted, "Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart, you're no good! Treat your workers like you should!" as they demanded the company to pay its workers $15 an hour and provide more full-time openings.
Some of the demonstrators' videos and statements have been widely shared:
If a cheap Xbox matters more to you than police racism and Black lives you should re-think your priorities. #BlackoutBlackFriday— Sean McElwee (@SeanMcElwee) November 28, 2014
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