Protests sprang up around the St. Louis area on what many called "Moral Monday," and by evening, 56 people at been arrested, authorities said.
Protesters peacefully took over St. Louis City Hall, while hundreds — including clergy members — chanted for justice outside the Ferguson Police Department. Others took their message to West Florrisant Avenue, disrupting businesses and blocking traffic. At a fundraiser where Sen. Claire McCaskill was scheduled to appear, a crowd called on her to speak out for their cause.
The day of protests was one in a series of events planned for Ferguson October, a coalition of activists and residents aiming to build national support against police violence. They called for justice for Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old shot by Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson in August, as well as other black men around the country who have been killed by police.
Protesters marched in and outside local Walmarts, to memorialize John Crawford, the 22-year-old man killed by a police officer inside an Ohio Walmart.
Others took banners to the St. Louis Rams game.
By Monday afternoon, protesters arrived at St. Louis City Hall where they unfurled a banner.
One person was arrested shortly after on suspicion of failing to obey the reasonable instructions of a police officer and resisting arrest.
At 5 p.m., when City Hall closed, the protesters said they would peacefully leave. But they vowed to be back on Wednesday.
"We've done this peacefully," organizer Kennard Williams said. "We will be peaceful when we come back in two days."
Other protesters remained outside the Ferguson Police Department, where authorities arrested a total of 43 people by 6:30 p.m. local time.
Still others took their message to a local mall, a community college and a political fundraiser.
Among the arrested were clergy members and Professor Emeritus at Princeton, Cornel West, who took part in a demonstration against police brutality, the New York Times and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Police said that arrests were not made "until protesters started bumping police officers' shields and eventually forcing through the police skirmish line."
Hundreds of protesters and faith leaders marched from a church to the Ferguson police department as part of a series of events marking two months since unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was fatally shot by police.
The “Weekend of Resistance” is part of Ferguson October — an organized movement of resistance against police brutality from Oct. 10 to 13.
Riot police prevented clergy and protesters from advancing toward the Ferguson police department.
Earlier, police also arrested six people on charge of "Refusal to Disperse" when protesters blocked traffic on W. Florissant.
Faith leaders led the “Moral Monday,” movement inspired by the North Carolina movement of the same name.
Hundreds of clergy locked their arms outside the Ferguson police department demanding to meet officers inside. They said they were prepared to be arrested if they could not.
Leaders of different faiths stood before a line of police officers to take their "confessions" and pray with them.
Protesters continued to stand outside the Ferguson police department in the pouring rain singing "We Shall Not Be Moved."
One of the first protesters to be taken into police custody was author and activist Cornel West, who had earlier joined a peaceful sit-in at St. Louis University.
Hours before joining the march to the university, West said, "I didn’t come here to give a speech, I came here to go to jail."
More than 1,000 peaceful protesters had gathered at St. Louis University, Missouri, early Monday, as part of the "Weekend of Resistance" movement.
Thousands converged at the St. Louis University campus clock tower to protest against the police shootings of black teens, Michael Brown and more recently, Vonderrit Myers Jr. in St. Louis.
The occupation of SLU was the culmination of four days of civil disobedience including street marches, rallies, and sit-ins in St. Louis "to build momentum for a nationwide movement against police violence."
Riot police failed to curb protesters who marched toward the university in separate groups, converging at the campus gates in the early hours of Monday.
A crowd of protesters blocked a street to play games such as jump rope and Twister to protest what they said the cops think is a game.
BuzzFeed News has reached out to the Ferguson police department for comment.
CORRECTION: Cornel West is a former professor at Harvard. An earlier version of this article misstated this. (10/13/14)
Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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Claudia Koerner is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
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