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Picketers mark 55 years since Jefferson Bank protests

August 30 marks 55 years since protestors gathered at the bank to demand jobs for African Americans in a business dominated by whites.

ST. LOUIS — It's considered the most iconic scene from the 1960's civil rights movement in St. Louis – the picketing of Jefferson Bank.

August 30 marks 55 years since protestors gathered at the bank to demand jobs for African Americans in a business dominated by whites.

Activists were working to change that when things got tense with Jefferson Bank. The bank got a court order to block protestors and when they showed up, several were arrested.

Percy Green was one of those original protestors and he was back Friday, as he has been for several years, marching outside the current location of Jefferson Bank.

He recalled some of the protestors in 1963 spending almost a year in jail.

"It was almost like punishing protestors for having the nerve or audacity to protest," said Green.

Organizers said Friday's march is not just to mark an anniversary, but to challenge the region on issue of today.

"It's really important that we keep talking about this fight," said Ashli Bolden with Jobs With Justice. "There are a lot of places on the job that still have racial discrimination practices and still need to be ... highlighted, the injustices that go on on the job."

In 1963, the courts eventually relented and the protestors were released from jail. And the following year Jefferson Bank hired four black workers.

Friday, bank employees said the president of Jefferson Bank had no comment on the group of about a dozen marking the anniversary.

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