At its height in the 1950's, East Saint Louis had a population of 82,366. Only about one-third remain today.
The president said there must be a distinction between young people "doing stupid things" and violent criminals.
The gunman stayed for nearly an hour at the prayer meeting Wednesday night before shooting the victims - six females and three males.
"We had not seen this kind of excessive police force used against protestors since the civil rights movement of the 1960's"
Members of the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago will travel with other community groups to Ferguson, Mo., on Friday, October 11.
Pulling together, volunteering and pitching in when city leaders seemed unable or unwilling to - just added to the unity building during a time of profound crisis.
Each had attended multiple demonstrations and strategizing meetings, protected protesters and property from police violence or acts of looting and led marches up and down the street.
In response to a national epidemic of police and vigilante killings, a two day "National Forum on Police Crimes" took place in Chicago, May 16-17.
The forum is devised to promote a "renewed effort to build a multi-racial, multi-national movement" against police crimes, government surveillance, mass incarceration, and more.
In an open letter to President Obama this Friday, human rights organizations have called for his intervention in the ongoing hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay.