Civil rights advocates in the US will highlight police and vigilante violence against Black people at a commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Thousands are expected at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic I Have A Dream address about racial equality.
They are gathering after another shooting by a white police officer of a Black man – this time 29-year-old Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on 23 August – sparking days of protests and violence that left two dead.
“We’ve got to create a different consciousness and a different climate in our nation,” said Martin Luther King III, a son of the late civil rights hero and co-convener of the march.
“That won’t happen though, unless we are mobilised and galvanised,” King said.
He and the Reverend Al Sharpton, whose civil rights organisation, the National Action Network, planned the event on 28 August, said the objective of the march is to show the urgency for federal policing reforms, to decry racial violence, and to demand voting rights protections ahead of the November general election.
To underscore the urgency, Rev Sharpton has assembled the families of an ever-expanding roll call of victims including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Blake and others.
Following the commemorative rally that will include remarks from civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, who represents several of the victims’ families, participants will march to the Martin Luther King Jr memorial in West Potomac Park, next to the National Mall, and then disperse.
Turnout in Washington will likely be lighter than initially intended due to city-imposed coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic restrictions that limit out-of-state visitors to the nation’s capital. To that end, the National Action Network organised a handful of satellite march events in South Carolina, Florida and Nevada, among others.
While participants march in Washington, Rev Sharpton has called for those in other states to march on their US senators’ offices and demand their support of federal policing reforms. Rev Sharpton said protesters should also demand reinvigorated US voter protections, in memory of the late congressman John Lewis who, until his death on 17 July, was the last living speaker at the original march.
In June, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act, which would ban police use of stranglehold manoeuvres and end qualified immunity for officers, among other reforms. Floyd, a Black man, died on 25 May after a white police officer in Minneapolis held a knee to the man’s neck for nearly eight minutes, sparking months of sustained protests and unrest.
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?