Protesters started to get together in DC to take part in the March on Washington that will kick off at the Lincoln Memorial on Friday.
The ‘Get Your Knee Off Our Necks’ March taking place 57 years after Martin Luther King Jr.‘s “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington has been organized by the National Action Network (NAN).
The attendees, including Reverend Al Sharpton, founder and head of the NAN, and Martin Luther King III, along with the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner and Jacob Blake, will be protesting against police killings of Black Americans, and calling for racial justice.
The families will deliver speeches at the Lincoln Memorial, before the crowd walks across Independence Avenue to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
The issues of police accountability, criminal justice reform, and voter protection will be addressed.
“This March on Washington shows our commitment to fighting for the oppressed, the marginalized, the neglected people of this country,” said Rev. Al Sharpton in a statement.
“We are tired of the mistreatment and the violence that we, as Black Americans, have been subjected to for hundreds of years. Like those who marched before us, we are standing up and telling the police, telling lawmakers, telling the people and systems that have kept us down for years, ‘get your knee off our necks’.”
“We are in the midst of the largest civil and human rights movement in history. Now is the time and this is the generation that can realize the dream my father spoke of 57 years ago,” said Martin Luther King, III.
“Black Americans are still bearing the same hardships my father worked to eradicate, and the only way we can hope to see the future he dreamt of is by continuing the peaceful and radical work he began years ago.”
Approximately 50,000 people are expected to participate in the march, according to Sharpton. The turnout was originally predicted to be higher, however, traveling from states that are designated as “high-risk areas” by the District government requires self-quarantine for 14 days.
Among the organizations joining the march are the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); National Urban League; the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation; Legal Defense Fund (LDF); Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE); American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AMFSCE); American Federation of Teachers (AFT); Americans for Democratic Action (ADA); Hispanic Federation, and more.