'Black Friday' protests focus on police brutality, DAPL, retail worker rights

A woman sits at a bus stop with a child during Black Friday in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 25, 2016. © Andrew Kelly
Protests aimed at attracting public attention to issues ranging from police brutality to retail workers rights started in several US cities on Black Friday, the big shopping day following the Thanksgiving festivities.

At least 33 activists were arrested at a shopping mall during a rally meant to coincide with heightened business.

About 100 demonstrators, including some members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, walked into the Kirkwood Mall in the downtown area of Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota and one of the nearest cities to the tribe's reservation.

Inside, water protectors formed a prayer circle and refused to listen to the demands of mall management who ordered them to leave the property.

Protesters and police say the demonstration was calm and without incident.

In Chicago, Illinois, crowds marched along the city's most popular shopping strip Friday morning, aiming to shut down the so-called Magnificent Mile.

There were around 250 people marching, according to DNAinfo, protesting against continuous police misconduct and the city's failure to implement an elected police oversight council.

Last year's protest followed the release of a video showing the fatal shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald by a white Chicago police officer.

In New York, protesters charged along Seventh Avenue, stopping outside major retailers such as Urban Outfitters, JCPenney and Lord &Taylor, as well as the fast food chain Chick-Fil-A. They wanted to attract attention to the "the mistreatment of retail workers" on a day described as"filled with shopping mayhem."

The also expressed solidarity with protesters against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Throughout the country, people protested in support of the Standing Rock Tribe and those opposing the controversial pipeline.