Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Journey for Justice Moves toward Jefferson City

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Journey for Justice Moves toward Jefferson City

Article excerpt

They started in the very spot that Michael Brown was shot.

Now, marchers who first set out on Saturday, are approaching Gasconade County, hoping to reach Jefferson City by Friday in what they've billed as a "Journey for Justice."

The Lewis & Clark Trailhead Plaza near the Governor's Mansion will mark their final stop where participants plan to hold a rally at 1 p.m. to call for the end of racial profiling in police departments across the country.

Marchers will have traveled 135 miles to deliver that message.

Participants have already braved icy, cold conditions. They've also endured jeering, including racially charged insults.

But marchers have also been met with love and support.

Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum, 33, a poet and adjunct professor from Denver, traveled to St. Louis to participate in the trek.

McFadyen-Ketchum wasn't surprised by the grand jury decision to not indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown on Aug. 9. Still, McFadyen-Ketchum felt "sick and enraged."

"I didn't know how to respond," McFadyen-Ketchum said, noting that he believes the lack of indictment will mean the public will never know the specifics of what happened.

But McFadyen-Ketchum said as an educated white man he's "always believed that I have to help others, and I don't know if poetry can do that."

So he decided to use the profits from his first book of poetry, published in March, to travel to St. Louis.

Despite some rough patches, McFadyen-Ketchum said the journey is going well.

"Our spirits are very high," McFadyen-Ketchum said.

He noted that onlookers have brought participants coffee, water, hand-warmers and other supplies. Some police officers have given marchers a thumbs up and offered other forms of support.

Of those on the outside still struggling to come to terms with the grand jury decision, McFadyen-Ketchum said: "If they were with us, they would not be disheartened."

Although there are currently only about 25 marchers heading to Jefferson City, organizers say they expect the crowd to swell to thousands as they reach their destination. …

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