Hundreds walk in footsteps of Martin Luther King to mark march through Marquette Park

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Hundreds gathered for a march in memory of Martin Luther King Jr. on the South Side Saturday.

The march began at 10 a.m. at 63rd and Kedzie. They walked the same path in Marquette Park that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did 50 years ago, where there is now the first permanent memorial to Dr. King in Chicago.

On August 5, 1966, Dr. King was protesting unfair housing practices and the fact blacks were not being shown homes in white neighborhoods. At one point the crowd grew violent during this protest. A rock was thrown and Dr. King was hit.

"This is a terrible thing, I've been in many demonstrations all across the South and I can say that I have never seen, even in Mississippi and Alabama mobs as hostile and as hate-filled as I've seen in Chicago," King said.


The march could possible get heated, with some activists and coming out who on Friday spoke out publicly against the way police handled the pursuit of an African-American teen, Paul O'Neal, who was driving a stolen Jaguar.

Video shows police opening fire on that car as it was speeding away then chasing after O'Neal into a backyard. The actual shooting was not on video, but police are seen handcuffing a bloody O'Neal. He later died at a hospital.

The organizer of Saturday's march does not anticipate protesters to be violent.

"We expect it to be celebratory while also advancing a vision for how we move together forward so we do not anticipate any problems, we have security, we have been working on our own internal security plan and of course we have been in communication with the 8th District," said Rami Nashashibi, executive director of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network.

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