ST. LOUIS – More than 1,000 people gathered Saturday for a second day of organized rallies to protest Michael Brown’s death and other fatal police shootings in the St. Louis area and elsewhere.

Marchers started assembling in the morning hours in downtown St. Louis, where later in the day the Cardinals were set to host the San Francisco Giants in the first game of the National League Championship Series.

The crowd was larger than the ones seen at Friday’s protests. The main focus of the march, scheduled to wind through downtown streets for several hours, was on the recent police shootings but participants also embraced such causes as gay rights and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Police officers were stationed around the area.

The four-day event called Ferguson October began Friday afternoon with a march outside the St. Louis County prosecutor’s office in Clayton and renewed calls for prosecutor Bob McCulloch to charge Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson officer, in the Aug. 9 death of 18-year-old Brown, who was black and unarmed. A grand jury is reviewing the case.

“I have two sons and a daughter. I want a world for them where the people who are supposed to be community helpers are actually helping, where they can trust those people to protect and serve rather than control and repress,” said Ashlee Wiest-Laird, 48, a church pastor from Boston who attended Saturday’s march in St. Louis.

The situation in Missouri especially resonated with Wiest-Laird. She’s white and her adopted sons, ages 14 and 11, are black.

“What I see happening here is a moment in time. There’s something bigger here,” she said.

Organizers said beforehand that they expected 6,000 to 10,000 participants for the weekend’s events. Police were not able to provide a crowd estimate Saturday, but organizers and participants suggested the march’s size may have approached as many as 2,000.

Planned – but unannounced – acts of civil disobedience are expected Monday throughout the region.

After the initial march in Clayton, the demonstrations moved to Ferguson on Friday night as protesters stood inches from officers in riot gear before dispersing. Many then went to the neighborhood on St. Louis’ south side where a police shooting of another black 18-year-old occurred Wednesday night.

The white St. Louis officer, whose name hasn’t been released, shot Vonderrit D. Myers after police say Myers opened fire. Myers’ parents say he was unarmed.

The officer was in uniform but working off-duty for a private neighborhood security patrol. Police said he fired 17 rounds, and preliminary autopsy results show a shot to the head killed Myers.

Tensions increased early Saturday in Ferguson after the St. Louis neighborhood protesting, with hundreds of protesters gathering outside the Ferguson Police Department. Some chanted, “Killer cops, KKK, how many kids did you kill today?” as a wall of about 100 officers in riot gear stood impassively.

Associated Press journalists Jim Salter and Jeff Roberson in St. Louis contributed to this report.

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