Shalom Life | August 23, 2014

Holocaust Survivor Arrested in Ferguson Protests

90-year-old Hedy Epstein, known for speaking out against Israel in the past, was apprehended by police after "failing to disperse"

By: Daniel Koren

Published: August 19th, 2014 in News » World

Holocaust Survivor Arrested in Ferguson Protests

Among those arrested Monday night in downtown St. Louis during protests in the wake of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown's death by a police officer in Ferguson, was one 90-year-old woman named Hedy Epstein, a German-born American Holocaust survivor, and staunch supporter of the Free Gaza movement.

Epstein, along with eight other protesters, was arrested for "failing to disperse" after approximately 120 people marched together to the Wainwright building in St. Louis, home to the office space of Governor Jay Nixon, according to St. Louis police.

The protesters blocked the entrance to the government building by linking arms in a peaceful demonstration against the National Guard.

Two people were shot overnight Monday with live fire, while 31 were arrested overall. Police retaliated with noisemakers and armored vehicles, while firing tear gas and flash grenades.

Epstein was photographed being taken away by police, in plastic handcuffs.

“I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager,” Epstein said as she was taken away. “I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90. We need to stand up today so that people won’t have to do this when they’re 90.”

The demonstration came as tensions between civilians and police in the area have significantly risen since unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was shot and killed on August 9th by a veteran white police officer.

Epstein, a German-born American, is no stranger to political activism. She is known, unlike most Holocaust survivors, for her staunch criticism of Israel, having supported the Palestinian movement for years, and taking part in several demonstrations against the Gaza blockade, including in Cairo.

Epstein and all the other protesters, save for one, were eventually released.

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