WASHINGTON (AP) — Protesters plan to converge on the nation’s capital Saturday to help bring attention to the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police and call for legislative action.
Civil rights organizations plan to hold a national march in Washington with the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, two unarmed black men who died in incidents with white police officers, to help bring attention to the issue of police brutality. Civil rights advocate The Rev. Al Sharpton also will be part of the march.
Protests — some violent — have occurred around the nation since grand juries last month declined to indict the officers involved in the deaths of 18-year-old Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Garner, 43, who gasped “I can’t breathe” while being arrested for allegedly selling loose, untaxed cigarettes in New York. Politicians and others talked about the need for better police training, body cameras and changes in the grand jury process to restore faith in the legal system.
Saturday’s march against police violence — sponsored in part by the National Action Network, the Urban League, the NAACP — is scheduled to go down Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and the Capitol. At the Capitol, speakers will outline a legislative agenda they want Congress to pursue in relation to police killings.
Several dozen people gathered outside Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in Washington for a planned smaller gathering before heading to the main rally.
Murry Edwards said he made the trip from St. Louis because he wants to make sure the momentum from the movement in Ferguson reaches a national stage.
“This is the national march,” Edwards said. “We have to get behind the national movement.”
Sheryce Holloway, a recent graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, said she also has been participating in protests at her alma mater.
Holloway said the goal of the protests is “ending blue-on-black crime. Black lives do matter.”
While protesters rally in Washington, other groups including Ferguson Action will be conducting similar “Day of Resistance” movements all around the country. A large march is planned in New York City.
Justice for All March http://nationalactionnetwork.net/march-police/
National Day of Resistance: http://fergusonaction.com/day-of-resistance/
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