Black Friday boycott: Ferguson protesters issue 'no justice, no profit' pledge to keep wallets closed during annual retail event

'Speak the language that our government understands: $$$' one protester wrote on Twitter

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The Independent US

As demonstrations against a grand jury decision not to indict a white police officer in the killing of an unarmed black teenager continue into their second day in Ferguson, a group of protesters is taking a different tack – by urging consumers to boycott upcoming Black Friday sales.

In a campaign spanning over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, users are pledging not to go shopping on Black Friday, and are urging others to do the same after a grand jury announced last night that police officer Darren Wilson would not face charges for shooting Michael Brown.

Falling on the day after Thanksgiving, the annual shopping day sees retailers slash prices in an attempt to lure Christmas shoppers.

Last year, a record 247 million shoppers spent an average of $423 (£270), a total of $59.1 billion (£38 billion), over Black Friday weekend.

The 'No Justice, No Profit' campaign has been spearheaded by the Justice for Michael Brown Leadership Coalition, a protest group.

Promoting the boycott during a news conference, Missouri pastor Rev Spencer Lamar Booker said Brown's death was "groundless" and "senseless".

"No matter how convoluting his others' attempts to make a legal argument, an illegal act was committed called murder," he said.

The protesters believe justice was not served for Brown and see his case is a symptom of a larger issue in the US surrounding race. They argue that officials will pay attention if the public can unsettle the economy with a boycott.

Two hashtags, #BoycottBlackFriday and #BlackoutBlackFriday are being used to promote the campaign, and gained traction on social media last night and this morning.

Meanwhile in Ferguson, around 300 people marched from a park to the court where the verdict was given yesterday, chanting: “You didn't indict. We shall fight.”

The action was one of several protests in the St Louis area today, after tensions last night blew up into violent protests where at least 61 people were arrested.

Thousands of people rallied - mostly peacefully - in other US cities on Monday night.

Brown's family released a statement saying they were “profoundly disappointed” but asked that the public “channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change”.

Additional reporting by PA

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