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‘Justice for All’ march in D.C.


Thousands join Al Sharpton

By Darryl Fears | 12/13/2014, 4:14 p.m.
‘Justice for All’ march in D.C.
Demonstrators listen to speeches at Freedom Plaza at the start of the “Justice for All” march in the District. | Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post

Thousands of demonstrators streamed down Pennsylvania Avenue on Saturday, shouting “Black lives matter,” “Hands up, don’t shoot,” and “I can’t breathe” to call attention to the recent deaths of unarmed African American men at the hands of police.

The peaceful civil rights march led by families of the slain and organized by the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network drew a wide range of Americans – black, white, Latino, Asian, young and elderly. They walked east toward the U.S. Capitol in a pageant of colorful t-shirts, banners and signs.

The most poignant moment of the day came when family members of black men and boys killed by police — Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamar Rice, Trayvon Martin and Amadou Diallo — took the stage at a rally at the Capitol.

The most poignant moment of the day came when family members of black men and boys killed by police — Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamar Rice, Trayvon Martin and Amadou Diallo — took the stage at a rally at the Capitol.

“What a sea of people,” said Lesley McSpadden, the mother of Brown, an 18-year-old killed in Ferguson, Mo, in August. “Thank you for having my back.”

“This is a history-making moment,” said Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr. “We need to stand like this at all times.”

“Let’s keep it strong, long and meaningful,” said Esaw Garner, the widow of Garner, who was killed by an officer in New York City in July.

Several protesters walked up to Michael Brown Sr., seeking hugs, handshakes or a picture. Brown tried to be accommodating to the many requests, at one point showing a young man how to take a selfie.

“This means the world to me, to see everyone coming together for a common cause,” Brown said.

Los senadores estadounidenses Marc Veasey (4i) y Elijah Cummings (5i) levantan sus manos en las escaleras Este del Capitolio en Washington DC (EE.UU.) hoy, jueves 11 de diciembre de 2014, durante una protesta contra la decisión del gran jurado para no procesar a policías en los casos de las muertes de Mike Brown y Eric Garner.

EFE

Los senadores estadounidenses Marc Veasey (4i) y Elijah Cummings (5i) levantan sus manos en las escaleras Este del Capitolio en Washington DC (EE.UU.) hoy, jueves 11 de diciembre de 2014, durante una protesta contra la decisión del gran jurado para no procesar a policías en los casos de las muertes de Mike Brown y Eric Garner.

On Thursday in Washington, black staffers on Capitol Hill stood on the steps of the Capitol in prayer and a silent protest, and Friday night members of churches and others lined 16th Street, from Silver Spring to the White House, in a candlight vigil.

But all did not go as planned, as a group of young demonstrators opposed to Sharpton, who they view as a celebrity activist seeking to take over a movement they started in Ferguson, seized the stage for a few minutes by shouting through a bullhorn. Many in the crowd frowned on the intrusion.

When Sharpton took the stage at the Capitol, he urged the marchers not to let “provocateurs” divide them, by generation or race.

“This is not a black march or a white march,” Sharpton said. “This is an American march so the rights of all Americans are protected. I’m inspired when I see white kids holding up signs saying ‘Black Lives Matter.’”

Joe Madison, a satellite radio talk show host, echoed that theme. “This is not old versus young, black versus white,” he cried out to the demonstrators. “All human lives are important.” He said they were standing on the shoulders of leaders whose names became famous during the civil rights movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King a half century ago.