WASHINGTON (AP) – Capping a week of protests and outrage over the police shooting of a Black man in Wisconsin, civil rights advocates will highlight the scourge of police and vigilante violence against Black Americans at a commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Thousands are expected at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Friday, where the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his historic “I Have A Dream” address, a vision of racial equality that remains elusive for millions of Americans.
A livestream of the event is expected to begin at 10 a.m. and it will be livestreamed in this article. If there is not a livestream available, check back at a later time.
And they are gathering on the heels of yet another shooting by a white police officer of a Black man — this time, 29-year-old Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last Sunday — 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 icon and co-convener of the march.
“That won’t happen though, unless we are mobilized and galvanized,” King said Thursday.
He and the Rev. Al Sharpton, whose civil rights organization, the National Action Network, planned Friday’s event, 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, Sharpton has assembled the families of an ever-expanding roll call of victims: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Blake, among others.
Following the commemorative rally that will include remarks from civil rights attorney 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.