ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)- Organizers officially called it the Justice for All National March and Rally, that was held on Saturday, October 11th. The rally drew people from coast to coast to march from 15th and Market Street in Downtown St. Louis to a rally at Kiener Plaza. They came for a variety of reasons.
They marched under one name: Mike Brown.
Brown was the unarmed 18-year-old shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer on August 9th. The incident ignited a national movement.
"Hands up don't shoot … hands up don't shoot," marchers cried.
It'd become a familiar refrain since Brown's death. Though the chants were the same, this march and rally was louder and larger than any since Brown died. There was a traffic jam of feet, not tires, covering all lanes of Market Street for most of a city block.
"This is what democracy looks like … this is what democracy looks like," marchers cried.
Groups from Oakland, California, to New York joined in song.
The United States Palestinian Community Network was there. St. Louis's Veterans for Peace marched in drum-step with labor unions. There was also a group from Indianapolis pushing for a $15 minumum wage, which included Lakeishana Jones, who works at a McDonald's there. She also supported the Justice for Mike Brown movement but only so long as it remained non-violent.
"I don't want to take part in anything that's violent. It's already so much violence going on. If we can stop the violence within everybody then maybe everything else would stop," said Jones.
"That's another reason Veterans for Peace is here. Some of us are working for de-escalation to see that it doesn't occur; that people don't get out of hand and start becoming violent," said Mike Hearington of Veterans for Peace.
"This is about economic justice. Economic justice starts with the way people are treated at work," said Mike Louis, President of the AFL-CIO of Missouri. "We're trying to keep our message separate. It's not working real well today, but we're trying."
"What happened here was so acute, so mind-numbingly violent, that people had a quick reaction. I think the first reaction people had caused people to really look at this place," said Argenys Taveras, a seminarian from New York – one of 18 who endured a 22 mile bus ride to Market Street, St. Louis, MO, for the march.