18 Nov 2014

St. Louis University Gives Students #Ferguson Protest Tips; National Guard Prepares for Violence

Last week St. Louis University sent out the above list to students who wish to join the violent protests in Ferguson. 
Saint Louis University officials recently sent students tips on how best to protest if they choose to take part in possible unrest as a result of the Ferguson grand jury decision, expected in the next week or so.
An administrator at the private college – a 20 minute drive from Ferguson – urged students to “travel in groups” if they protest in an email that also linked to several protest primers with tips on what to do if tear gassed or arrested, among other advice.
“We understand that a group of protest organizers are working hard to ensure that planned demonstrations are civil and non-violent,” Dr. Kent Porterfield, vice president for student development, said in the email sent to students Nov.12. “But we also recognize, despite their best efforts, they may not be able to control the few who wish to cause trouble.”

“[T]he university is planning for various scenarios,” Porterfield adds, noting officials may restrict visitors on campus, including in residence halls, and will consider cancelling classes if protests occur near the urban campus. He did not specify how close to campus protests would have to occur for these measures to be taken.

Porterfield, in his email, also hyperlinked to a generic “protest prep” memo under the disclaimer that “this information is for reference only and does not specifically address any possible protests or demonstrations in our region.”
Meanwhile law enforcement and the national guard are getting prepared for any eventuality as WSVN reports:
As a grand jury weighs possible criminal charges against the police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown, Missouri’s governor has again activated the National Guard in an effort to avoid more unrest in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.
Unlike in August, when Gov. Jay Nixon asked the troops to help provide security after protests turned occasionally violent, his latest move is pre-emptive. It comes ahead of any decision on whether Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, who is white, will be indicted for the Aug. 9 shooting death of the black 18-year-old.

There also are some operational differences this time. When Nixon last declared a state of emergency, he put the Missouri State Highway Patrol in charge of a unified local police command and later activated the National Guard to provide security around the command center.

This time, Nixon said the St. Louis County Police Department would be in charge of security in Ferguson and would work with the Highway Patrol and St. Louis city police as part of a unified command to “protect civil rights and ensure public safety” in other jurisdictions.
“My hope and expectation is that peace will prevail,” Nixon said Monday. “But we have a responsibility – I have a responsibility – to plan for any contingencies that might arise.”

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