ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- Protesters demonstrated outside a St. Louis Cardinals game at Busch Stadium on Tuesday for the second night in a row, demanding justice after the death of an unarmed 18-year-old in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.
The group called for the arrest of Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown on Aug. 9. But some Cardinals fans, who were there to see their team defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers, said they weren't too happy to see the demonstrators at the game.
“I don’t understand why they’re here," said Susan Wilson, a waitress who lives in Farmington, Mo. Watching as about 20 protesters gathered outside Busch Stadium, Wilson said she wasn't bothered by their presence, but she didn’t understand why they chose to show up to the game.
“Baseball is America’s pastime. I don’t get it," Wilson said. "I don’t feel like they’re accomplishing anything here."
As Cardinals fans flooded into the stadium, the group of protesters played drums while chanting phrases like "If Mike don’t get it, shut it down.” In one tense moment, demonstrators surrounded a Cardinals fan as he yelled "Let's go Cardinals." Each time he yelled support for the team, the protesters would say in return “Let’s go Michael.” At the end of the chanting match, the Cardinals fan told The Huffington Post that he was “just here to support my team.”
Another man, who declined to provide his name, said he was disgusted by the protesting and thought the group was dishonoring the country by waving an upside-down American flag, which signifies a state of distress.
“That’s fucking bullshit what they’re doing," he said. "Waving the American flag upside down is disgraceful. My granddaddy died for this country. I’d smack that flag out of his hand if I could." The man, who appeared to be in his late 50s, said the demonstrators were making themselves look uneducated and ignorant.
While there were no major conflicts between demonstrators and Cardinals fans, one protester said someone tossed a cigarette and lighter at the group. Missy Gunn, a 42-year-old tax preparer from St. Louis, said the incident started because a man disagreed with the protesters flying the flag upside down.
"A young man approached us and said we shouldn’t have the flag upside down because it was disrespectful. We continued to protest, and then he flicked a cigarette at this one of us, along with his lighter," Gunn said.
"We are down at Busch Stadium because our motto is ‘no justice, no peace.’ If there’s no justice, this town won’t get any peace," Gunn said. "Why should everybody go on with their everyday life as if nothing is going on? We will continue to disrupt their baseball games, their operas, their church events, etc., until we get justice for Mike Brown and all the other unarmed black men killed by police in the United States.”
Josh Williams, an 18-year-old activist from Bellefontaine Neighbors, said more protesters were at the game on Tuesday than on Monday night.
“It’s vital that we’re at the Cardinals games because it’s more people there, and it’s more people that are racists and don’t like us there," Williams said. "We have to continue protesting there until justice is served."