Ferguson protests come to Webster University

Aerin Johnson

Maxine du Maine poses with a friends sign. (Photo by Aerin Johnson)
Maxine du Maine poses with a friends sign. (Photo by Aerin Johnson)

Ferguson, Mo., went to what seemed to be chaos after the fatal shooting of Mike Brown on Aug. 9. However, the protests occurring in Ferguson have come to Webster Groves.

After the shooting, protests occurred and turned violent at night with looting and a militarized police force.

In Webster Groves on Aug. 19, about 60-70 people from around the community came to a protest organized by Webster University’s chapter of the Association of African American Collegians (AAAC).

“My friends and I wanted bring awareness to Webster Groves, since we are heavily involved in the community. We also wanted our voices to be heard and also show support for Ferguson. At Webster, I know a student that from the Ferguson area, this was one of our ways as showing that support,” said Henry Coleman, chapter president.

Coleman said he had been to Ferguson several times since the shooting, and he had never seen a community come together like it has. In Ferguson, businesses came out to support the community. Saint Stevens had a food pantry for a small area by Ferguson whose residents couldn’t get to a grocery store and, with the businesses around closed, could not get food.

“Anything that was opened 24 hours started closing at night,” said English teacher Rita Chapman, who lives near Ferguson. According to her, there was a lot of tension in the air though it wasn’t as bad as the world seemed to think.

Some Ferguson protests were dispersed by tear gas, but the Webster U. protest was calmer. Protesters held signs saying “United we stand” and “Why should I fear being a black man?” Protesters also shouted to passing pedestrians and cars,”No justice, no peace” and “Hands up, don’t shoot.”

“I think everyone’s a little stunned by what happened,” Chapman said.

Police were present during the protest, however, with a few cars parked in close by parking lots like WGHS.

Coleman said the police did not want to be involved and wanted to make sure it was a peaceful protest.

Both Chapman and Coleman agree the Ferguson shooting has an effect on the Webster Groves Community.

“St. Louis is one of the most segregated cities in the United States. This does not stop or start in Ferguson. There is even a racial divide in Webster Groves. Wherever there is a racial divide, there will usually be a problem. Until we all come to understanding of the history of the racial divide in Webster Groves, St. Louis and the entire United States, there will always be a problem,” said Coleman

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