Black Friday protests at the St. Louis Galleria lead to 7 arrests
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
By Denise Hollinshed
Nov 25, 2017
RICHMOND HEIGHTS • The St. Louis Galleria closed for about half an hour Friday afternoon after seven people were arrested during a Black Friday protest.
Among those arrested was state Rep. Bruce Franks Jr., a Democrat. He and three other people who had been arrested were released by 7 p.m., according to protesters.
The protesters arrived shortly after 2 p.m. at the shopping mall. They walked through chanting, “Shut it down.” Some stores closed their doors and pulled down their security gates, in some cases trapping customers inside.
A large police presence could be seen around the area.
Richmond Heights police announced that the protesters should disperse by 2:25 p.m., or they would start making arrests. When police moved in to arrest one person, Franks questioned the officers, and he was thrown to the floor and his hands tied behind his back.
Read the article HERE.
I was intrigued by one of the organizers of this protest–Rev. Dinah Tatman. How is it that someone with Rev. in front of their name is involved not just in lending a hand but in organizing a protest of this nature. As a member of a ministry, wouldn’t there have been better avenues of protest? Shouldn’t she have been more worried about those she cares about and for in her ministries than protesting through some area business boycott?
First, I am not sure what the Rev. is in honor of – though she does minister through a program called NightLife where people gather to walk through dangerous areas to help. She graduated from at Missouri Baptist College in 2000 with a Religion/phycology degree so perhaps that is where the Rev. is derived. I readily admit I know very little about clergy title etiquette especially between denominations.
However, when I looked up her Greater New Vision Ministries Inc. I found literally nothing about a religious center. What I found was reference to it being a business and with her as CEO from 2006 until now. According to her social media profile, the ministry works with homeless single females ages 18 – 35 and their children. However, an official page profile for the ministry was not available.
Second, there were references for this woman and others protesting the acquittal of the police officer, Jason Stockley, while at the same time calling for a boycott of area businesses. What one has to do with the other escapes me. I don’t see how angering those who might be potential donors or supporters would benefit the ministry.
Lastly, there was a protest in 2015 where she marched through St. Louis carrying a Bible and the U.S. flag hung upside down (a signal for citizen in distress) during a protest in Ferguson. She was or may continue to be a member for the Ferguson Youth Initiative’s Non-Profit Board. I don’t see her action as being a positive role model for youth in this instance.
Rev. Dinah Tatman was associated with West Side Missionary Baptist Church as business administrator from 2000-2006. There is a photo of her accompanying FBI agents who were on scene interviewing residents at the Canfield Green apartment complex in August 2014 regarding the police shooting of Michael Brown. Yet there appears to be nothing about her in a public capacity other than the protests.
Was his arrest justified? Just because someone has been elected to hold an office, does not mean they are above the law. From the little I gathered, this was not a sanctioned protest in a public forum.
Its premise was ridiculous. How can people justify shutting down businesses that EMPLOY local citizens which in turn drives a healthy economy? There are better ways to raise awareness and protest than to see such radical behavior that might destroy buildings or harm locals in the process. There are several organizations including the Congressional Black Caucus that have millions available for lawsuits, they regularly work with group activities like lawsuits all the time. At least this way, local businesses and communities wouldn’t be targets of abuse.
It was held in a privately owned mall where hundreds or thousands of people could have been caught in a violent crossfire. What would have happened had there been bad actors in the bunch who ran rampant through the mall vandalizing property? Innocent bystanders could have been hurt or worse in the process. They dodged a “bullet” on this protest because it could have gotten completely out of control.
It was held in a manner inconsistent with common sense, decorum or respect of official office, and reasonable actions. Those protesting should have known better. They could have held this on public land outside the mall. They could have used different methods of protest like letters to the state or to congress members. Heavens knows there are plenty of liberal mouthpieces out there wanting to put their two cents into every issue.
State Rep. Bruce Franks, Jr. according to his Twitter Account is a father, husband, business owner, activist, battle rapper, and State Representative of the 78th District of Missouri. Those that post there say he is a passionate and involved member of the area. There is nothing wrong with being committed to those you represent or being passionate about representing them. However, he took the best step forward as an advocate in public office not by becoming embroiled in some ridiculous protest. Change can be more effective there to point out the plight of those receiving prejudicial attention. What he did not consider were the consequences to his community if this had gone too far or if as a representative he had been harmed during a rabid display of protest.
He isn’t the only Democrat to come under fire for public activism. How far down the activist path of acceptable and legal behavior is too far for those voted into office? When does their actions cross the line into civil disobedience and seditious activity?
–October 2013 – Eight Democrat members of the House of Representatives were arrested outside the Capitol protesting immigration reform. The representatives arrested were Joseph Crowley and Charles B. Rangel of New York, Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Al Green of Texas, Luis V. Gutierrez and Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, Raul M. Grijalva of Arizona and John Lewis of Georgia.
–January 2017 – Sheila Jackson Lee, Nancy Pelosi, Charles E. Schumer, Brenda Lawrence, Adam Schiff, Jackie Speier, Juan Vargas, and Grace Napolitano protested in front of the Supreme Court over the “alleged Muslim Ban.”
–April 2017 – During the March in the District protesting Trump release of his tax information, the lineup of speakers included Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.). – noticeably lacking was their willingness to produce their own tax information for public review
–June 2017 – Al Green, Jan Schakowsky, Robin Kelly, Mike Quigley and others spoke at March for Truth rallies demanding action on the Russia/Trump allegations.
–September 2017 – Congressmen were among a group of protesters arrested outside Trump Tower in a line up of activists including the following people: Democratic Reps. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Adriano Espaillat of New York were arrested on civil disobedience charges along with the speaker of the New York City Council, Melissa Mark-Viverito.
The usual suspects seem to always be found, so when can we expect to see Ethics Committee rulings on each of these congressional members according to the Hatch Act if nothing else? Oh wait, the Senate hasn’t done an ethics review in many years. The House it seems will be a bit busy on sexual conduct for a while.
The House did pass a few rules in late January fining those who participate in certain actions within chambers but they didn’t address rules of conduct during protest rallies and such, I don’t think. If they did then why hasn’t media noted it?
How about we move the Hatch Act up the list before sexual conduct in the line of dastardly deeds While important, sexual conduct is something that has been going on for ages and ages. Quite frankly it is nothing more than an effort to divert attention away from real issues the people don’t want in the spotlight.
By now that line up of ethics investigations ought to be a full-page long considering how fast those in the swamp are squeaking, squirming, and diving for cover as the heat ratchets up.