Volunteers clean up as Ferguson calms down

World Today

Things are quiet in Ferguson, Missouri. While there are no signs of the violent protests of previous nights, many are still angry about the decision not charge a white police officer in the shooting death of an unarmed black teen.

CCTV America’s Jim Spellman reported this story.

On a chilly Thanksgiving morning in the heart of Ferguson the clean up began. In the same spot where violent demonstrations erupted Monday night, volunteers cleaned up trash left by protesters.

Mark Renaud and his family drove an hour and a half to come be part of Ferguson’s next chapter.

“I feel this is a way we can extend comfort and healing and help,” he said.

There were still a few police officers visible around town, but some boarded-up businesses were reopening and the tension that once ran so high here seemed to have lifted, at least for now. It was quiet in Ferguson — the protesters were gone, the streets had mostly reopened, and new images were popping up calling for ‘Peace for Ferguson.’

Leah Bailey and her family spent Thanksgiving morning painting murals on boarded up buildings.

“We own homes here, we are raising kids here, we need to make this community something that our kids can grow up in. And we are dedicated to doing that,” she said.

She knew the problems in Ferguson go well beyond the plywood put up to protect these businesses, but she hoped that until the boards come down, they could at least carry a positive message. Across the street at Wellspring church there was a prayer service for a shaken community and then a Thanksgiving meal.

“Thanksgiving is a welcome sight,” said senior pastor Willis Johnson. “It is an opportunity to reflect and recognize what we’ve been through but be excited and hopeful with family, with friends, for what’s to come.”

He acknowledged moving forward wasn’t going to be easy and will likely involve confronting issues of racism, violence, and tolerance head on.

“We just have to love the hate out of people. Love the hate out of our systems and try to create a new model. A new identity that is valuing of everyone for who they are and towards the greater good for everybody,” he said. “Love will win.”