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Martin Luther King Jr. March draws crowd

Mon., Jan. 21, 2013, 12:25 p.m.

The annual Martin Luther King Day March in downtown Spokane went off without a hitch. Close to 1,000 people gathered at the INB Performing Arts Center at 10 a.m. to listen to this year’s speakers, before walking peacefully together to RiverPark Square.

Police Chief Frank Straub apologized on behalf of police departments across the country for how they responded to the civil rights movement by trying to beat it down.

“We have also had some unfortunate incidents here in this city,” Straub added, “I apologize for that, too.”

That got a big cheer from the crowd.

The newly appointed president of Spokane’s branch of the NAACP, James Wilburn, said his mission is to get young people involved in NAACP. And he shared his experience of living just 16 minutes from where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968.

“That day, it was like hope died. People were crying in the streets,” Wilburn said, “but I look out on you today and I see the dream is still alive.”

The march left the INB performing arts center at 11 a.m. and the front of the march, lead by the drum line from Rogers High School’s marching band, reach downtown before the last person left the convention center.

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