Monday, October 6, 2014

Cardinals playoff game could be target for Mike Brown shooting protesters, courtesy of KPLR 11, St. Louis

"ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)- The thousands of people heading to Busch Stadium for tonight`s game could be met with demonstrators protesting the Michael Brown case. (click the link to watch the video).

The potential for protests over the Michael Brown shooting is certainly an issue that concerns many from the St. Louis City Police Department to Major League Baseball officials.

A letter written by local attorney and activist Eric Vickers was sent to Major League Commissioner, Bud Selig in September. In the letter, Vickers says there is the potential for protest at post-season Cardinals games.

In the letter Vickers says that all is not joy in Cardinals Nation because of the Michael Brown case. He makes it clear that the MLB playoff games in St. Louis have been identified as protest targets.

Letter to Commissioner Selig: 
Mr. Bud Selig
Major League Baseball
Dear Commissioner Selig:
Let me first congratulate you and Major League Baseball (“MLB”) for providing another stellar year of sports entertainment, and also to commend you for your many years of invaluable service to the game as you now plan to move on.  I wish I could communicate to you an upbeat message of fun and joy as many parts of the St. Louis community now rightfully feel with our beloved Red Birds headed back into the playoffs and undoubtedly the Series.  However, all is not joy in Cardinal Nation, as you most certainly must be aware, because of the shooting of Michael Brown, and the deep seeded feeling of enough is enough in the black community it has unearthed.
Thus, if you have not been informed, there have been since Michael Brown’s death ongoing protest activities taking place in and around the St. Louis metropolitan area.
Consequently, given this backdrop, you should be aware and understand why the MLB playoff games scheduled to begin in St. Louis next week have necessarily been identified as protest targets.  I think you should also be aware that the protest activities have ranged from mass assemblages of persons protesting, to civil disobedience arrests, to blocking public means of transportation.   And you should be aware that the aim of these protests is to cause discomfort and inconvenience and disruption in order that the voices of those protesting will be heard.  Voices I can attest are as determined to be paid as much attention to as is paid to sports.
Unavoidably, MLB has a role to play in this situation.  To the chagrin of many – and frankly, at the peril of this town -the business and the civic community in St. Louis have been silent on the issue the black community has deemed of vital and non-negotiable importance: the appointment of a special prosecutor for the Michael Brown case.  The two black State Senators from the area, Sen. Maria Chapelle-Nadal and Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, have made this demand, with Senator Nasheed having collected over 150,000 on line signatures calling for a special prosecutor.  The black ministers have made this demand.  The black community leaders have made this demand.  And if you have watched the news, the whole world is making this demand.  Yet, Commissioner, though the black community has thrown nothing but strikes at this issue, the prosecutor remains like stone in the batter’s box.  Breaking all the game’s rules of basic prosecutorial fairness.  And with those sponsoring the game, the business community, closing their eyes to the damage being done to the sport – to harmonious race relations here and nationally.
We ask that you use the powers of your office to address this by providing needed national leadership to the local business and civic leaders.  We are hopeful your stature and influence and experience will help avert the embarrassment already suffered by our town from worsening.
Thank you.
Eric E. Vickers
Vickers was among the organizers of the protest last month where several people were arrested for blocking Hanley at I-70 in North County.

The plan there was originally for protesters to block I-70 but that was mostly stopped by police.

Vickers says past protest activities have ranged from large groups assembling to protest, to civil disobedience arrests that included blocking public means of transportation.He is demanding that a special prosecutor be appointed in the Michael Brown case.

This potential threat comes after roughly 50 demonstrators delayed part of a St. Louis Symphony Orchestra performance on Saturday night at Powell Symphony Hall.

Moments before the symphony and chorus was to begin performing, the group stood up and started singing a song related to the Brown case. Banners were also displayed from the balcony.
That protest lasted a few minutes and the demonstrators left peacefully."

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