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March on Washington 2020: What to know about today’s MLK anniversary march and protest

The march will be led by the families of George Floyd, Eric Garner, and others who “know the pain” of police brutality and racial injustice.

March on Washington 2020: What to know about today’s MLK anniversary march and protest
[Photo: Cooper Baumgartner/Unsplash]

Today, thousands of protesters will converge in the nation’s capital to march for police reform and racial justice. The 2020 March on Washington comes 57 years after the original 1963 March on Washington that demanded racial justice and civil rights for Black Americans. Here’s what you need to know about the event:

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  • The 2020 March on Washington was originally announced by Rev. Al Sharpton at George Floyd’s funeral in June. As CNN reports, at the time, Sharpton said, “On August 28, the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington, we’re going back to Washington. We’re going back this August 28 to restore and recommit that dream [of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.] . . . We need to go back to Washington and stand up, Black, white, Latino, Arab, in the shadows of Lincoln and tell them this is the time to stop this.”
  • The march is being held on the 57th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. It’s organized in conjunction with Sharpton’s National Action Network and the NAACP.
  • The 2020 march is dubbed the “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” Commitment March. The original 1963 march it is based on was officially called the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.”
  • The march will be led by the families of George Floyd, Eric Garner, and others who “know the pain” of police brutality and racial injustice.
  • Marchers will be called upon to do more than just show up. Besides marching to let their voices be heard, attendees will also be encouraged to register to vote, fill out the 2020 US Census, and sign up to be poll monitors and poll workers for the upcoming November elections, reports CNN.
  • The march’s permit allows for 100,000 people, which is the number event organizers are planning for.
  • Coronavirus safety precautions will be in full effect. Holding mass gatherings in the time of COVID-19 is always a challenge, but the march’s organizers have gone to great lengths to make sure marchers can maintain a safe social distance and that the march complies with all local public health regulations. Face masks for marchers will be required and hand sanitizer, gloves, and masks will also be provided on-site. People will only be granted entry to the site once they have had their temperature checked and are wearing a face mask.
  • The march will be live-streamed. You can watch it on Nation Action Network’s Vimeo page.

The March on Washington 2020 kicks off at the Lincoln Memorial today, August 28, 2020, at 7 a.m. ET. A preprogram will run from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. At 11 a.m. is when the majority of speeches will begin. Speakers will include civil rights leaders and members of families impacted by racial injustice. The march itself officially begins at 1 p.m. It runs from the Lincoln Memorial to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. The march is scheduled to conclude around 3 p.m. (all times local).

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