Unemployment, Trayvon ruling cast shadow over march anniversary


WASHINGTON -- The struggle continues. So said many of those who turned out Wednesday for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, saying they were there to mark the historic occasion but also to call attention to causes ranging from joblessness to “justice for Trayvon Martin.”

The crowd was smaller than the 1963 gathering as well as Saturday’s commemoration, but began to grow after noon, stretching from the Lincoln Memorial to about a third of the way down the reflecting pool and including young and old, black and white, and people who participated in the 1963 march.

“My mom came down here 50 years ago, so I came down here to be a part of history too,” said Karen Walker, 43, a federal worker from Maryland.


Though the speakers at the Lincoln Memorial were hard to see from a distance, this time there were Jumbotrons on the National Mall.

DOCUMENTS: Coverage of the 1963 March

A number of those attending the anniversary came with a cause.

“I came out because I want to see a change. I want to see Martin Luther King’s dream live on,” said Shirley Poindexter, 65, from Virginia.

She, like others, say some of the dream remains unfulfilled. “We still have a long way’s to go,” she said.

Linda Wills, 59, who attended the 63 march, said the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down a key section of the Voting Rights Act was a major setback to the cause.

“Here we are now 50 years later, and we’ve been set back,” she said. “I’m going to remain a part of the movement until change comes if the Lord lets me live long enough.”

Hiram Brewster, 72, a retired District of Columbia policeman, added, “We’re much better off, much better off, but there’s a lot yet to be done.”


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