PROTESTS ON CHICAGO’S MAGNIFICENT MILE
Hundreds of protesters blocked entrances to stores in Chicago’s high-end shopping district to draw attention to the police shooting of a black teenager.
The demonstration came after the release of a video this week showing the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald last year. The video touched off largely peaceful protests.
On Friday, some of the demonstrators in Chicago linked arms to form human chains in front of main entrances to stores.
Store employees directed shoppers to exit from side doors. When one person tried to get through the front door of Saks Fifth Avenue, protesters screamed at him, shouting, “Shut it down! Shut it down.”
Entrances were also blocked at the Disney Store, the Apple Store, Nike, Tiffany & Co., and Neiman Marcus.
Many shoppers seemed to take the disturbance in stride, and some even snapped photos of the crowd.
Protesters took different approaches. The Rev. Jesse Jackson, for instance, led a prayer with a group from the steps of Chicago’s historic Water Tower.
NO MAD RUSH
Business was brisk but not overwhelming at a Macy’s in Kansas City as rain that started Thursday morning continued falling. There didn’t appear to be any lines more than a few customers deep.
Gerri Spencer and her daughter left home at 4 a.m. and made their way to a Macy’s store several hours later. Spencer said the crowds seemed sparser than in the past when Black Friday meant “getting out at the crack of dawn” to get the best deals.
Some Black Friday shoppers seemed to miss the holiday crowds.
At a Kmart in Denver, Susan Montoya had nearly the entire store to herself. She half-heartedly flipped through a rack of girls’ holiday party dresses and looked down the store’s empty aisles.
“There’s no one out here! No challenge!” she said.
Lynette Norcup also is nostalgic for Black Fridays of the past.
Sitting in the warmth of her daughter’s SUV waiting for Wal-Mart to open, the resident of Pleasanton, California said she thinks the excitement has fizzled with stores opening on Thanksgiving.
Norcup misses the challenge of strategizing to score deals.