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Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Ferguson, Missouri summer protests "have spilled into the fall" and into Cardinals baseball. Protester outside Cardinals game says, "This is where white America gathers." Cardinals will add "even more security in anticipation of future protests"-NY Times

10/7/14, "Less Tension on Second Night of Ferguson Protests at Cardinals’ Stadium," NY Times, Ben Strauss

"As the Los Angeles Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals battled during Game 4 of their National League division series Tuesday evening, a group of protesters gathered outside, beyond Busch Stadium’s left-field wall. About 15 demonstrators banged drums and chanted in the memory of Michael Brown, the teenager from nearby Ferguson, Mo., who was shot and killed by the police officer Darren Wilson in August.

Clashes between police and protesters shook the small town, just a 20-minute drive from downtown St. Louis, for weeks this summer, and protests have spilled into the fall. A performance by the St. Louis Symphony during the weekend was interrupted by an estimated 50 protesters.
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Tuesday’s demonstrators, organized by a local group, Lost Voices, assembled on the street outside the smoking exit of the stadium, where fans can take cigarette breaks during the game. They held signs that read, Down With Racismand “Justice for Mike Brown.” One waved an upside-down American flag.

We’re here because this is where white America gathers, said Beverly Jones, a 54-year-old St. Louis resident. “Racism is still very real, and we will not be silent.”

Security guards formed a barricade between the fans and the demonstrators. Even those wanting to exchange high-fives with the drummers were steered back.

The security presence was beefed up Tuesday after an ugly scene involving protesters and Cardinals fans was caught on video during Game 3 on Monday night. A video of that confrontation, posted by Argus Streaming News, showed Cardinals fans yelling obscenities at the protesters. One fan taped the name of Wilson to the back of his Cardinals jersey.

On Tuesday, the protesters and fans chanted back and forth, with “Let’s go, Mike Brown” alternating with “Let’s go, Cardinals.” But the situation was calmer than it was the night before.

The Cardinals had been in contact with Major League Baseball in the wake of the Ferguson riots and added security personnel in and around the ballpark throughout September. Ron Watermon, the Cardinals’ vice president for communications, said the team prided itself on a family-friendly and safe atmosphere at the park.

“What we saw in that video does not reflect who we are or who our fans are,” he said of the Monday incident.

With the Cardinals advancing to the National League Championship Series, Watermon said the team would look to add even more security in anticipation of future protests."


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