March on Washington to Focus on Police Violence

The U.S. capital is the site of another March on Washington on Friday, 57 years after the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom during which Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic “I Have A Dream” speech.This year’s march follows months of demonstrations about police violence against Black people. The protests were ignited by the death in May of George Floyd, a Black man, who died who died while in police custody in Minneapolis, a city in the Midwestern state of Minnesota.Floyd’s death has come to symbolize the long history of deaths of Black people in the U.S. while in police custody or being apprehended by the police.Friday’s event has been dubbed the Get Your Knee Off Our Necks March, a reference to Floyd’s death.Earlier this week, a police officer shot Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man in Kenosha, a city in the U.S. Midwestern state of Wisconsin. Blake is now paralyzed from the waist down.Friday’s event was organized by the Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, Martin Luther King III, and other organizations, including the NAACP, the country’s oldest civil rights organization, as well as the Hispanic Federation, the National Urban League, and other civil rights groups and unions.The event will begin on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and hours later demonstrators will march to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.Speakers will include lawmakers and relatives of people who have died due to police violence.Originally, up to 100,000 people were expected to attend Friday, but estimates have been lowered to about 50,000, according to a permit issued by the National Park Service this week.COVID-19, which has affected every aspect of life, has also affected Friday’s event. Organizers say everyone’s temperatures will be checked. Also, there will be 200 hand-sanitizing stations, and everyone will be required to wear a face mask.Sharpton’s organization canceled several chartered buses from states with high COVID-19 rates, as Washington has imposed a two-week quarantine for people entering the city from these states, including Florida, Georgia and Texas.People attending the event will be sectioned off into areas where they will be able to maintain appropriate social distances while they watch and listen to activities on Jumbotron screens.

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