Gallery: Minnesota Marks MLK Day

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Demonstrators at the “Black Lives Matter Minneapolis” rally Monday said they think Martin Luther King Jr. would’ve been proud of what they did.

The group marched through the streets of St. Paul for nearly four hours, stopping to stage what they called a “die-in” along the way. It looked close for a while, but none of the marchers walked onto Interstate 94.

People of all ages showed up on their day off. Everyone had a reason to join in. Brenda Kittilson lives on the east side of St. Paul.

“I’m really concern for my grandsons, my grandsons and his younger brothers,” Kittilson said.

Some reasons were raw and recent. The family of Marcus Golden, killed last week in a shooting involving St. Paul Police, thanked the demonstrators.

“He would’ve been thankful, he would’ve been thankful for everybody coming out, showing support,” Blake Golden, Marcus’s brother, said.

The family helped close out the day on the steps of the State Capitol.  A day that started with a mission, one organizer kicked it off yelling, “We’ve come together in the legacy of MLK and this was organized as a peaceful, family friendly non-violent protest.”

Non-violent it was, yet it was still action-packed. Officers barricaded marchers from the interstate and they stayed away. One car stopped traffic briefly but things continued moving.  The light rail reversed as marches traveled alongside and then they made their final turn.

“It’s been pretty non-violent and I think that’s OK, and MLK would be pretty happy about that, I’m sure,” Demonstrator Bruce Verry of Minneapolis, a Vietnam veteran, said.

“We made our statement, we did what we could do,” high school senior Malik Curtis of St. Paul said.

And so the day ended, with hugs and candles and dreams.

St. Paul Police said no one was arrested in Monday’s march and rally.  They also described the long afternoon as peaceful. They should have a crowd estimate soon.

Officials with “Black Lives Matter Minneapolis” said nearly 2,500 marched about four miles Monday to the State Capitol, where the rally ended with a candlelight vigil.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

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