Thousands brave cold to attend MLK Jr. Unity Parade

Jan 17, 2012

SPOKANE, WA- The marchers at this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Unity Parade seemed to forget about the frigid weather, and an attempted bomber at last year’s event. Spokane Public Radio’s Paige Browning attended the parade and reports.

Morrison: “I believe in the dream, and it lives”.

Marching for her sixth year in a row, Karen Morrison marched near the front of the parade, leading the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. At least 1,000 people marched this year, led by a Lewis and Clark High School marching band.

Youngsters throughout the long line of marchers held signs saying “Love is all you need”, and “Love, Love, Love”. It was a family affair for many. And Morrison was no exception, who attended with her daughter and son-in-law. Morrison says more people are getting the word out that hatred cannot be tolerated in Spokane. She called this year’s event “beautiful”.

Morrison: “All of them are beautiful but there’s more and more support for what his dream is. And there’s more responsibility taken for the dream of Martin Luther King Junior”.

Attendees talked about the meaning of the day, and remembered Martin Luther King Junior’s 1963 speech.

But many at the Spokane event weren’t able to join hands. They were too busy beating drums and clanging cymbals.

As the march ended, people gathered inside River Park Square to hear more music, and several speakers. Students from the Community School performed African drumming and cultural songs.

While citizens enjoyed the parade, police patrolled every block of the parade route. They were ready for anything, after a white supremacist interrupted last year’s event with a home-made bomb, but this year the only commotion came from marchers and drummers.

Copyright 2011 Spokane Public Radio