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Protesters March to Boone County Courthouse

         “This isn’t a moment, this is a movement”
         Those were the words spoken by several speakers Tuesday night who led protesters in a march from Secondary Missionary Baptist Church to the court house in downtown Columbia. The protest was organized by several groups, including the Columbia branch of the NAACP.

           More than a hundred protesters participated as they marched up Broadway and then up 8thStreet before stopping at the Boone County Courthouse. They were addressed by several speakers who all underlined non-violence as a cornerstone of their movement.
         Reverend Dr. Clanton Dawson Jr. is the President of African American Clergy Coalition of Mid Missouri. Dawson says violent forms of protest are distracting and take away from the protest itself.
         “People are moved by numbers but I think they have to be peaceful. I really am committed to a philosophy of non-violence because I really do believe that violence begets violence. We’ve gotten caught up in the looting and the rioting instead of the fundamental issues and the material conditions that contribute to this violence,” said Dawson.
         One of those forms of peaceful protest is boycotting. Rob Stewart is a pastor who preaches in Marshall and Elmwood, MO. Stewart thinks the upcoming holidays present an opportunity for boycott.
         “Historically I’ve noticed the changes that minorities wanted, in particular African-Americans, usually people didn’t listen until their dollars start being affected. When I think of the sit-ins and I think of the bus boycotts, the changes didn’t happen until people started feeling it in their pockets. So I feel like if we were to boycott-not spend as much money, people may start paying attention and maybe our voice would be heard louder in that way,” said Stewart.
         NAACP Missouri President Mary Ratliff says her group is considering a march from Ferguson all the way to Governor Jay Nixon’s office in Jefferson City starting this Saturday. The march to the capitol is still in the planning stage, but would include people walking on highways and possibly protesters being bussed to Jefferson City.