RICHMOND HEIGHTS, MO (KTVI)- Demonstrators boycotting Black Friday targeted several malls in the St. Louis area Friday afternoon.
It all began on Twitter with messages to meet at Shaw Park in Clayton at 11:30 am. Several dozen arrived, watched by police. Then they got their instructions to head to the Galleria Mall.
Word spread, just go and get inside the Galleria any way you can. It happened quickly.
Signs came out. Then you could hear chants like “Shut s*** down” across the mall.
Protestors spread across two floors. Then stores began closing as protestors approached.
Employees locked doors and gates, watching from inside. Two women who appeared to be Macy’s employees came out to lead one chant of “No Black Friday!”
Cheers erupted when Helzberg Diamonds closed.
Police officers from several jurisdictions lined the walls, sometimes listening to angry screams directed their way.
Police took the approach of calmly watching and protecting stores and people.
After noon, the Galleria completely closed, only letting people out. A cell phone case salesman held out as long as he could. Abdullah Noman said, “I started well, like at 10-11 o’clock was fine. After that the customers scaring and leaving the malls, so basically we’re losing a lot of business.” Noman added, “I think we’re going to leave in a minute if we stay like that.”
The upper floor shook furiously as people jumped.
Demonstrators dropped to the ground to symbolize people who’ve died. They called it a “die in.” It included a father with his young son on top of him.
Shopper Carla Webster said, “I’m here from Atlanta visiting and watching it on CNN news, so just to see it first hand is really something to see. So we’re going to stand and watch.”
Lost in the background, small businesses who said they were really hurting financially on a day they count on.
According to various social media posts, police let the protesters peacefully demonstrate.
Holiday shoppers in Des Peres had a close up encounter with protestors who converged on the West County Center at Manchester Road and Interstate 270.
It was a peaceful but noisy demonstration as about 150 to 200 individuals marched inside the mall calling on customers to 'stop shopping.' Participants say intended to stop business as usual so their message would be heard.
Doors to the mall were locked for a period of time, but shoppers remained in the mall.
Once outside, protestors briefly blocked traffic and then returned to march around the mall building. The group spent some 90 minutes in the area before leaving.
After the West County Mall, protestors went to the Chesterfield Mall. The mall was closed for approximately one hour from 7:10p to 8:10p.