The 2020 March on Washington is taking place on August 28—57 years to the day from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech, during a new civil rights era, and just months before the presidential election.
In other words, this march is absolutely historic and expected to draw thousands of people—even if they can’t be there IRL. Not only is the NAACP holding a virtual march, but an in-person Commitment March to “fight for criminal justice reform in solidarity with those who have lost loved ones at the hands of the police” is being organized by Reverend Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III alongside National Action Network (NAN), attorney Benjamin Crump, and the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Eric Garner.
“This March on Washington shows our commitment to fighting for the oppressed, the marginalized, the neglected people of this country,” says Reverend Sharpton. “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.’”
Here’s what you need to know about the Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks if you’re planning to physically attend (and if you can’t make it, don’t forget that you can definitely show your commitment virtually).
Location and Time
Attendees are being asked to gather at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool at 7 a.m. on August 28 (but you might want to get there even earlier), and there will be speeches from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The march itself will begin at 1 p.m. at the Lincoln Memorial and end at 3 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
If you need help getting to the Commitment March from out of state, NAN has organized buses traveling from several major cities:
On top of that, local hotels are offering discounted rates to people traveling to D.C. for the march:
A couple FYIs:
Posters and signs are allowed, but wooden sign posts are not permitted.
Folding chairs are not permitted.
There will be a modified march route for people with limited mobility.
The hashtag for the march is #NANMOW2020.
Speakers include the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Eric Garner—and while speech details are limited, NAN says they “will address the senseless loss of Black lives at the hands of police and advocate for issues including police accountability and criminal justice reform, voter protection, and more.”
Coronavirus Safety Guidelines
The march will be socially distanced and, of course, everyone is being asked to wear a mask. That said, it looks like some coronavirus-related changes could be coming as we get closer to August 28. Mayor Muriel Bowser recently said that the march is being “reimagined” because of the pandemic and that “it’s not a big march that was initially envisioned but a seated event where the number of seats would be limited, people would be checked going into the seated area, and it would be a much smaller attendance.”
All the more reason to register!
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