Protesters demanding an end to racial injustice following the death of an African American man in police custody are taking to the streets of Washington for the third straight weekend.
In Washington, Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia said Thursday that “multiple First Amendment demonstrations” had been scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.
Officials said they don’t know how many protesters to expect, noting that grass roots demonstrations are not planned by a primary organizer.
Protests demanding justice and systemic reforms erupted across the U.S. after George Floyd died on May 25 after white officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd pleaded he could not breath, one of the many deaths of black Americans over recent years during or after encounters with police.
Demonstrations quickly spread to large cities throughout the world, including London, Paris and Sydney.
Last Saturday (June 6), thousands of people protested in the streets of Washington against police brutality, the largest demonstration in the capitol city since Floyd’s death.
Officials said many streets in downtown Washington, including those around the White House and the National Mall, will be closed intermittently on Saturday and throughout the day on Sunday.
Floyd’s family and American civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton said in a permit application filed recently with the U.S. National Park Service they were planning a large demonstration for criminal justice reform in Washington in late August on the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington.
The historic “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” occurred on August 28, 1963, drawing between 200,000 and 300,000 people.
The march featured Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial, during which he said “There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright days of justice emerge.”