March on Washington 2020 Draws Thousands of Peaceful Protesters

March on Washington protesters gather at the Lincoln Memorial, August 28, 2020.  (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Today, to mark the 57th anniversary of 1963’s iconic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, thousands are once again marching through the nation’s capital to protest racial injustice.

The Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks was first announced by Reverend Al Sharpton at George Floyd’s funeral in June. Sharpton organized the march alongside the National Action Network and arrived with the family of Breonna Taylor. The families of Floyd, Jacob Blake, Trayvon Martin, Ahmaud Arbery and Botham Jean are also in attendance. Today also marks the 65th anniversary of Emmett Till’s murder.

Protesters started gathering at the Lincoln Memorial at 7am ET and speeches began a few hours later. The march later moved towards the Martin Luther King memorial—only fitting for the anniversary of his “I Have a Dream” speech. Martin Luther King III was also in attendance, calling on marchers to “become the heroes of the history we are making.”

In a separate speech, Martin Luther King's granddaughter Yolanda Renee King took an optimistic tone. “We are going to be the generation that dismantles systemic racism once and for all, now and forever,” she said. “We stand and march for love, and we will fulfill my grandfather's dream.”

Sponsored

Temperature checks and mask regulations were in effect this morning.

Jacob Blake’s father—whose own father marched in ’63—captured the momentum behind the march in his speech. “There are two systems of justice in the United States,” he told the crowd. His son is currently recovering in a hospital from seven gunshot wounds fired by a Kenosha police officer. “There’s a white system and there’s a Black system. The Black system ain’t doing so well. Every Black person in the United States is going to stand up. We’re tired!”

Images of the march are now emerging on social media. People and social justice groups from all over the country are in attendance, including some from the Bay Area.

The Black National Convention begins streaming at 6pm. Highlights from today's protests, keynote speeches and musical performances will stream as part of the Virtual March on Washington, starting at 9pm.