For several hours tonight, protesters reacting to the acquittal of former St. Louis cop Jason Stockley filled a "town hall" held by elected officials in the absence of Mayor Lyda Krewson, who canceled the public meetings she had scheduled last week
But by 8 p.m., the group headed back to the streets — blocking the intersection of Washington and Tucker on the edge of downtown St. Louis.
About 100 protesters marched into the intersection, standing in lines at all four sides and blocking traffic as they sang, "We ready, we ready, we ready for y'all!"
At 8:06 p.m., police declared an unlawful assembly and gave everyone five minutes to disperse. Protesters had surrounded a police SUV and were chanting at the driver. "How does it feel?" one woman cried. "It doesn't feel good to be surrounded, does it?"
Two bus loads of cops in riot gear showed up around 8:15 p.m. They formed a line on Tucker blocking Washington Avenue. That's the same intersection where police "kettled" protesters on Sunday, September 17 — leading to 100 arrests for "failure to disperse."
As of 8:27 p.m., the police had not moved in to arrest those in the street. They continued to hold their line, dressed in shields and full riot gear, but ultimately made no move on those assembled.
Protesters largely moved to the sidewalks, with cops continuing to hold the intersection.
Around 8:40 p.m., protesters were on the march again, heading west on Washington. "The whole damn system is guilty as hell," they chanted.
The group arrived at an area near the St. Louis Public Library and have congregated at 14th and Olive. They faced little resistance from police.
By 9:10 p.m., they were marching west on Olive. The cops in riot gear had left.
At 9:15 p.m., organizers declared the action over following a chant of "Expect us! Expect us."
Said one woman with a bullhorn, "That is the end of our action for the night." She then instructed people to assemble again tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. at 16th Street and Market.
Editor's note: We updated this post throughout the evening.