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A Year After Michael Brown Shooting, Ferguson Marchers Mourn In Silence

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Right now, I want to start - we're using 4 minutes and half. It's symbolic. Start now. I don't want no sound. Quiet.


Earlier today, calling for silence on the streets of Ferguson, Mo. It's been exactly one year since police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown there, and people have been gathering in the area this weekend for days of remembrance and protest. Camille Phillips is with St. Louis Public Radio, and she's been in Ferguson covering the events. Camille, thanks for being with us.

CAMILLE PHILLIPS: Thanks for having me.

RATH: And what can you tell us about the events today.

PHILLIPS: Well, people began gathering about midmorning at the Michael Brown memorial in Ferguson. Michael Brown's father and several other people spoke, and then around noon, the crowd was called to silence for 4 and a half minutes. That number - four and a half - is symbolic. It's used often at Ferguson protests and Michael Brown events, symbolizing the 4 and a half hours Michael Brown's body laid on the pavement after he was killed. I'd say there are about 500 people - maybe as many as 2000 - in the crowd, and after some speeches, they lined up and marched through the streets about a mile in silence. There was some quiet conversation - no chanting, though, no singing or anything like that.

RATH: The police response to last year's protest was the focus of intense scrutiny. Can you tell us what the police presence was like at today's events?

PHILLIPS: Well, it was really low key. They're very visible, but mostly used as traffic control. For instance, at the Michael Brown memorial in the apartment complex, no police were there at all.

RATH: And, Camille, I understand there are additional actions that are being planned for tomorrow.

PHILLIPS: Yes, tomorrow is being billed as a day of resistance or Immoral Monday. Unspecified acts of civil disobedience are planned. I've covered two similar events in the past. Generally, activists tried to shut down a highway. But we don't know where or when these acts will occur at this time.

RATH: That's Camille Phillips with St. Louis Public Radio. Camille, thanks very much.

PHILLIPS: Sure thing. Thanks for having me. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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