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Over the years turning on the holiday lights in a shopping district on Thanksgiving has become something of a sacred holiday tradition in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Think about that for a moment.

We can usually find live coverage on one of the local television stations. Depending on the weather upwards of 250,000 people crowd into the Plaza to wait for the appointed hour when the strings of lights outlining the buildings are turned on.

A quarter of a million people will probably be there. In a shopping district. Again, think about that for a minute.

Several Kansas City television news outlets have been running stories expressing concern that people protesting the Ferguson grand jury decision could protest at or disrupt this evening’s Plaza lighting event:

Worries of protests ahead of Plaza lighting

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City police prepared as fears grew that more protests might occur in Kansas City.

One, rumored to occur during the 85th Plaza Lighting Ceremony, has some families now wondering if they should attend the annual celebration….

[….]

….Some Plaza merchants are nervous too after people across the country watched protesters in Ferguson grow violent and burn down businesses….

[….]

….But the Kansas City Police Department said all protests in the metro have stayed mostly calm.

On Tuesday night, a demonstration worked its way around the Country Club Plaza and Westport and grew to nearly 200 people. Officers arrested only five who became unruly….

[….]

The possibility of five “unruly people”. In a crowd of 250,000? What are the odds?

Any number of people larger than five would be a significant logistical achievement. What do you think would be the impact? More or less than the number people who will be publicly drunk?

Meanwhile:

We petition the Obama Administration to:

Bring justice to Michael Brown by federally charging and prosecuting Darren Wilson for first-degree murder

[….]

Created: Nov 25, 2014

Issues: Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement

Signatures needed by December 25, 2014 to reach goal of 100,000 0

Total signatures on this petition 117,892

 [emphasis added]

If all those people showed up it would be quite a different crowd dynamic.

And another:

We petition the Obama Administration to:

It should be unconstitutional for officers of the law to kill unarmed citizens. Please amend the constitution.

I’m asking for a revision of our constitution. It does not protect the average American citizen from the use of excessive, lethal, or deadly force to resolve citizen/police conflicts. Police officers have an array of non-lethal weapons but choose to murder unarmed citizens as they deem necessary. This murder with no trial or conviction is unconstitutional and should be out-lawed. Without amending the constitution to provide protection to vulnerable citizens, our lives are in the hands of officers who are authorized to be the jury, prosecutor, and judge when facing confrontation on duty.

Created: Nov 25, 2014

Issues: Civil Rights and Liberties, Government Reform, Human Rights

Signatures needed by December 25, 2014 to reach goal of 100,000 98,024

Total signatures on this petition 1,976

[emphasis added]

Same country, different worlds.

Previously:

White House Petitions: Ferguson, Missouri (November 26, 2014)

The Unanswered Question (November 25, 2014)

The Ferguson Commission: Change agent or spinning wheels? (November 24, 2014)

White House Petition: and stuff (October 16, 2014)

Missouri is an interesting place with interesting people (October 21, 2014)

#NMOS14 Moment of Silence Kansas City Mike Brown Rally (August 16, 2014)

Kansas City moment of silence – August 14, 2014 – part 2 (August 15, 2014)

Kansas City moment of silence – August 14, 2014 (August 14, 2014)

WTF? (August 13, 2014)

And we wonder why (August 12, 2014)