15 Signs You're a Ferguson/Shaw Protester

Steve Truesdell via
You might be a Ferguson or Shaw protester if...
The last two months have brought wave after wave of protests and demonstrations to the city of St. Louis. What started as an outpouring of grief and anger over the death of one black teen has grown into a movement known around the world.

But as the protests move from Ferguson to Shaw (to South Grand to political fundraisers to Walmart stores), Daily RFT has noticed a few overlapping consistencies among protesters young and old.

See also: PHOTOS: Ferguson Protesters Hit Rams Game, Steve Stenger Rally, Walmarts: 50+ Arrested

Want to know if you're a *real* Ferguson or Shaw protester? Here are fifteen tell-tale signs:

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Activist Cornel West Arrested During Ferguson Protests (UPDATE)

Steve Truesdell
Dr. Cornel West speaks at a five-hour #FergusonOctober event at Fubar on October 12, 2014. Dubbed "Hip-Hop 4 Justice," the event also featured Dead Prez, Dr. Cornel West, Jasiri X and Talib Kweli.
Dr. Cornel West got what he said he wanted.

West, a prominent author, activist and the keynote speaker at Sunday's mass meeting at Chaifetz Arena, was arrested Monday morning during protests in front of the Ferguson Police Department.

Update, 3:50 p.m.: Read below for an update from St. Louis County Police about West's arrest.

West told supporters during Ferguson October, a four-day protest against police brutality sparked by the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, that he wanted to be arrested.

Read more Riverfront Times coverage of Michael Brown and Ferguson.

"It's a beautiful thing to see people on fire for justice, but I didn't come here to give a speech," he said Sunday night. "I came here to go to jail."

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Burglars Steal Food, Games While Vandalizing Northside Youth, Senior Center

Categories: Community, Crime

Courtesy of Northside
Students serve hot meals to seniors at Northside Youth and Senior Service Center.
A community center in north St. Louis city says late-night burglars caused $10,000 in damage while stealing food and games from the children and elderly adults the center serves.

The burglars tripped the alarm at the Northside Youth and Senior Service Center, triggering a call to police, but staff says no officers arrived until almost twelve hours later, when an employee called 911.

Sunday around 9:30 p.m., burglars smashed their way into the center and stole electronics, video-game consoles and games, toys and sports equipment, says Sandra Norman, Northside's executive director. They also stole hundreds of dollars worth of food.

But the burglars didn't stop there. While inside, the vandals broke doors, cabinets and electronics, damaged windows, security bars and the balcony, and vandalized the 40-year-old agency.

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Sham Film Festival to Unleash Web's Best Short Parodies on St. Louis

Categories: Community, Movies

Courtesy of Matthew Newlin
A still from Little Man of Steel, which will be screened on October 24 during the Sham Film Festival.
In the past, the greatest film parodies were crafted by professionals. This is Spinal Tap, Airplane and The Naked Gun offered the highest-quality mockery money could buy, while sketch-comedy shows like SNL married production values with the funniest comedians in the world. Then the Internet came along, and parody videos exploded.

Matthew Newlin and John Reynolds want to celebrate those short-form parodies by putting them on a big screen. The two St. Louisans are organizing the first ever Sham Film Festival -- opening October 24 -- as a showcase for short-form film parodies that inhabit YouTube and sites like College Humor and Funny or Die.

"I kept seeing all these videos posted online, the fake movie trailers, the spoofs that people do themselves -- but they're excellent," says Newlin, 31, who came up with the idea for the festival about a year ago. "The quality and creativity and the originality is there, and these people are filmmakers that are not getting their due. Let's give them some attention."

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Library, Magic House Team Up to Help Ferguson Kids Cope with Crisis

Photo by Mitch Ryals
Wish wands made by Ferguson-Florissant students at the Flo-Valley Library last Thursday
A unicorn. A Blues Stanley Cup. An end to the violence in Ferguson. To finally start school. Peace.

These were the wishes children made at the Florissant Valley branch of the St. Louis County Library as they waited for the violence in Ferguson to calm down long enough for them to walk safely to school.

"Wish wands" decorated with pipe cleaners, construction paper and different-colored feathers offered a window into the thoughts of north-county elementary school kids during the three-day event last week. For some children, the violence, looting, protesting and shooting of Michael Brown was at the top of their minds. For others, Brown's death wasn't as concerning as the macaroni and cheese and pineapples they ate for lunch.

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With Schools Closed, Teachers and Volunteers Hold Class at Ferguson Library

Photo by Mitch Ryals
Shaila and Janeatha Evans show off their art projects at the Ferguson Public Library.

For the past three nights, Shaila Evans has packed her book bag and set it by the front door hoping to go to school the next day. And every morning she has been disappointed.

The Ferguson-Florissant School District was supposed to begin classes Thursday, August 14. Owing to the protests and riots, the district postponed the beginning of the school year to the following Monday, August 18, but then canceled classes for the entire week altogether.

"She's really anxious to start school," says her mother, Janeatha Evans. "She loves school, and she's been saying how she wants to start learning and making new friends."

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Volunteers Clean Up at Ferguson QuikTrip, Get Yelled At for "Helping the White Man"

Kathryn Banks
Volunteers clean at the QuikTrip after riots on Sunday night. Erica Hampton is in the middle holding a shovel.
Erica Hampton didn't let her two young children watch the chaos unfold in Ferguson Sunday night. But as the sun rose Monday morning to reveal smoldering ashes and broken glass, she sat down with her ten-year-old son to talk about the destruction wreaked on the town.

"We talked about it, and we decided to go help," Hampton tells Daily RFT. "I'm just really about my community. That's just me."

Hampton's friend lives near the QuikTrip that was looted and burned Sunday night, so that's where she, her son, her four-year-old daughter headed on Monday morning, ready to get to work. Armed with shovels donated from Home Depot, the volunteer cleaning crew cleared the parking lot, which was covered in food wrappers and trash as well as burned debris.

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Yet Another Ranking Says Saint Louis Zoo is Tops in U.S., World

Categories: Community

Steve Truesdell
"We're No. 4? No duh. What a yawn."
Here in St. Louis, we know our zoo is one of the best in the world. Now a ranking from travel site TripAdvisor makes that official.

Of the 275 top zoos in the world, the Saint Louis Zoo ranks at No. 4, between No. 5 Singapore Zoo in Singapore and No. 3 Loro Parque in Spain, according to TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice awards, released this week. Only two zoos in the country rank higher than the Lou's: Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska, and the San Diego Zoo.

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"Save Yourselves": Mysterious Sign Pleads for Peace After Shooting Kills Man at Picnic

Categories: Community, Crime

Google Maps
Heman Park.
Even in a place like St. Louis, where gun battles all too often claim the lives of the players involved and the civilians on the sidelines, the shooting that killed a twenty-year-old man at the University City High School alumni picnic was heartbreaking.

What was supposed to be a pleasant summer afternoon reliving high school days with other alumni in Heman Park turned deadly by early evening. More than 1,000 people were still in the park when gunshots rang out, killing Mario Wallace, 20, and injuring a 39-year-old man.

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"Humans of St. Louis" Transforms New York Idea into Celebration of Local Lives

Categories: Community

Humans of St. Louis
"What are you doing? Taking pictures?" "Yeah." "Will you take my picture?"
The idea seems simple: Take someone's picture, ask a few questions and post a photo and a quote online. In the hyper-visual, emotionally demanding world of the Facebook news feed, the right portrait-quote combo can strike viral gold.

But there's a secret ingredient -- a breath of inspiration -- the lack of which can doom wannabes and imitators. Call it taste. Call it perspective. Call it heart.

Whatever it is, Humans of St. Louis has it.

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