Thousands gathered Saturday in downtown St. Louis to protest the death of Michael Brown and call for an end to police violence nationwide, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Part of a four-day series of events, dubbed "FergusonOctober" by organizers, the protest drew a diverse crowd of activists from across the nation who marched side-by-side with local residents, chanting, "We are Mike Brown."

The march, organized by labor unions, churches, Hands Up United, the Organization for Black Struggle and other groups, started in the middle of Market Street at 15th Street and ended at Kiener Plaza.

Police used barricades to keep traffic away from the crowd. Officers patrolled on bicycles and foot. But unlike the protests in August after Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson shot Brown, St. Louis police avoided any visible show of force during Saturday's downtown march.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson worked the crowd, shaking hands and talking to protesters.

"What's important is that we're out here dressed in our normal uniforms. We're not in tactical gear," Dotson told the Post-Dispatch. "What's also important is that everybody has a right to be here and have their message heard."

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