WASHINGTON — Thousands of people are making their way to the National Mall Friday to participate in the National Action Network’s Commitment March: Get Your Knee Of Our Necks, also known as the 2020 March on Washington.
The event is set to kick off starting at 7 a.m. EST, but participants have already started filling into the National Mall at 17th Street Northwest around 5 a.m. Many individuals have traveled from near and far to shed light on several issues such as police brutality, criminal justice reform, voting, and much more.
The march coincides with the original March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which took place in 1963, and where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his « I Have a Dream » speech.
10:10 a.m. — The father of a Black man who said his son was shot by Denton police in January shared his story about his son’s death by police shooting. The father said while officers tased him, his son’s last words were, « My heavenly father, my heavenly father… » He said his son was set to join law enforcement upon college graduation. He said he’s marching for justice and to change the system.
10:09 a.m. — During the march, coronavirus testing is available at a booth near the entrance to the march. There are volunteers urging people to know their COVID-19 status. They said, “It only takes a few seconds to know your status.”
KNOW YOUR STATUS: Also during today’s march you can find volunteers promoting #COVID19 testing. “It only takes a few seconds to know your status.” #NANMOW2020 #MarchOnWashington @wusa9 pic.twitter.com/176lsAckpO
9:47 a.m. — Marchers were seen wearing masks, holding up George Floyd posters and « Black Lives Matter » flags as the event continues through the morning.
9:46 a.m. — Rev. Al Sharpton arrives at the March on Washington near the Lincoln Memorial. He is expected to speak to the marchers.
The Rev. Al Sharpton just arriving to the area near the Lincoln Memorial. He’s set to speak at this historical #MarchOnWashington @wusa9 pic.twitter.com/UqeY1wemBc
9:37 a.m. — After walking more than 100 miles, the Walk The Walk group has made it to D.C. The faith led pilgrimage has spent nine days walking to the March on Washington.
After walking more than 100 miles, #WalkTheWalk2020 has made it to DC. The faith led pilgrimage has spent nine days walking to the #MarchOnWashington2020. @wusa9 pic.twitter.com/vVTMlfd88u
9:30 a.m. — A temperature check entrance to the march has opened on Constitution Avenue and 17th Street.
Breaking: new temp check opened up handing out green entry bracelet on Constitution & 17. #MarchOnWashington @wusa9 pic.twitter.com/wDT4E2oiv8
9:14 a.m. — The president of the Morehouse College National Action Network delivers an inspirational speech to the crowd.
The president of the @Morehouse @NationalAction brought the crowd to their feet w his moving speech. He used many of the techniques sociolinguist Minnie Quartey highlighted as ? to powerful protest prose. To learn more here https://t.co/cCg1mbeKjY @wusa9 #MarchOnWashington2020 pic.twitter.com/7nmjUQ2aPb
8:58 a.m. — The 2020 March on Washington event begins at the National Mall with D.C. native Nini Taylor.
8:40 a.m. — The lines to the march is growing and is looping around the area due to lack of entrances. Some marchers are skipping health check-in points and going into the event without bands.
Major #MarchOnWashington2020 entrance problem. Event maps show two planned entrances near WWII memorial. But only 1 along 17th opened. Line of people almost looping the reflecting pool. @wusa9 pic.twitter.com/qaEkmqgxJ8
8:31 a.m. — Black Girls Ride leader, Porsche Taylor, and members of the organization just arrived at the March on Washington. The group traveled from California to attend. Taylor expected to deliver a speech at the event.
Morning everyone! We’ll be out and about talking to folks at the #MarchOnWashington2020 about what’s next after the [email protected] just got to Freedom Plaza after biking from CA. Their leader is speaking at the March. @wusa9 #equalitymatters pic.twitter.com/joljuH1vU3
8:02 a.m. — A large crowd of people was seen gathering at DeMatha High School in Hyattsville, Md. to walk to D.C. for the march. The distance is about 2.3 miles away.
8:00 a.m. — Some demonstrators are giving out free posters as participants walk into the National Mall.
7:46 a.m. — There’s no wait time at the entrance of the march. The second entrance is barely being used.
7:30 a.m.– A new line that stretches for 1/4 mile down 17th Street has formed for a commemorative t-shirt, not entry.
This line stretches for a 1/4 mile down 17th. Not sure if everyone knows it’s a line for a commemorative t-shirt not entry. Entrance is actually just past this point and you are able to walk straight to temperature check station. #MarchOnWashington #MarchOnWashington2020 @wusa9 pic.twitter.com/9goNB34ORw
6:58 a.m. — A security checkpoint at the entrance is doing temperature checks, enforcing mandatory mask-wearing and are giving out free gloves and ID bracelets.
Temp checks, ID bracelets, mandatory mask wearing and free gloves for those entering #MarchOnWashington @wusa9 pic.twitter.com/c5EWX4hkae
6:56 a.m. — The line to the entrance stretched all the way to Constitution Avenue and 18th Street.
6:43 a.m. — Dozens of people started lining up to enter Lincoln Memorial. The line stretched around Constitution Avenue and 17th Street.
5:22 a.m. — Crews added a big shining light to accompany the music as they gear up to let people on the premises.
5:16 a.m. — The event staff had the speakers going outside of the Lincoln Memorial as they prepare for to permit people to enter and claim their spots for the march.
They’ve got the speakers going outside of the Lincoln Memorial as people are now permitted to enter and claim their spots for the #MarchOnWashington2020 @wusa9 #GetUpDC #CommitmentMarch pic.twitter.com/YJ1M2brjB7
The march, scheduled for Aug. 28, will coincide with the original March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which took place in 1963, and where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his « I Have a Dream » speech.
According to NAN’s website, attendees will need to have a ticket. If interested, you can register ahead of time online. Walk-up tickets will still be available, but NAN encourages attendees to get their ticket prior to the march.
Rev. Sharpton, the National Action Network, Martin Luther King III, NAACP Attorney Benjamin Crump and families of police brutality victims, along with labor leaders, clergy, activists and civil rights advocates, will lead a Commitment March to fight for criminal justice reform in solidarity with those who have lost loved ones at the hands of the police.
While the official speaker line up is not yet set in stone, march participants can expect addresses from Sharpton, Martin Luther King, III, and civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump.
The family members of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, and others are also expected to speak, in addition to members of Congress.
Sharpton said that face coverings will be required and one will be given to participants free of charge if they do not have one.
Crowds will be directed to 17th St., NW, to begin the process for entry at the general entrance:
Due to very limited seating, if you are visually impaired or require wheelchair service please email immediately [email protected] for accommodations.
If you are unable to stand for a long period of time, NAN highly encourages you to view the broadcast live stream on their website.
NPS Permits Management Specialist and/or Event Monitors may be assigned for on-site supervision each day of the event. In addition, U.S. Park Police officers may also be assigned to provide for public safety.
The GW Medical Faculty Associates are providing professionally trained and licensed EMTs that will provide first aid and emergency service on the day of the event. The staff will serve as first responders for medical emergencies.
Tents will provide basic first aid and life support, and there will be 3 locations with Advanced Life Support programs and cold bottled water for the prompt attention to the health needs of all special guests and all attendees.
The first aid tent is large enough to provide shelter from the sun for those who become overheated. A medical tent will be on-site with cold water at the dispersal point located on the grounds of the West Potomac Park and Lincoln Memorial.
An isolation tent for those experiencing COVD-19 systems will be located near the medical tent located on the southwest corner of Constitution Ave. and 17th St., and inside fencing near the medical tent at West Potomac Park located on Ohio Drive.
Not at the march due to concerns regarding COVID-19? Here where you can sit and watch.
The NAACP announced they will lead a “2020 Virtual March on Washington.” Civil rights leaders, activists, and families of people who have lost loved ones at the hands of police will be leading the charge.
Black Lives Matter, the organization at the forefront of protests against incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against Black people, is also hosting a virtual conference but has also been invited to participate in the march.
« They’ve been invited and they have a virtual conference that they said will start after the march, » Sharpton said of Black Lives Matter. « We’re not fighting against each other. We’re finding ways to cooperate because all of us want to see something done about the threat of voting rights and about police brutality. »
While the march is expected to have around 10,000 participants if you are planning to leave the city to go into Virginia, plan for an alternative route across the Potomac.
The following streets will be posted as ‘Emergency No Parking’ from approximately 12:00 am to 11:59 pm:
The following streets will be restricted to vehicular traffic from approximately 6:00 am to 11:59 pm: (If safe to do so, vehicles will be allowed to enter the restricted area if they are on essential business or traveling to-and-from their residence).
If I have out of state guests participating in the march, will they have to self-quarantine afterward?
Anyone traveling to D.C. from states D.C. Health Department deems as « high risk » due to the coronavirus, will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
The new travel order applies to people coming to the District for non-essential activities. On the other hand, those who are entering the D.C. region for essential travel or after essential travel are urged to monitor any potential symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days.
« We have said that if you’re in a hot spot state, have a march there, » Sharpton said. « We’ll have a march that National Action Network is doing in South Carolina in front of the offices of [Sen.] Lindsey Graham, Houston, Texas in front of the office of Sen.Ted Cruz and Florida in front of [Sen. Marco] Rubio’s office. »
Despite the ongoing pandemic, Sharpton is confident that this year’s march will not be a risk to those who choose to participate.
« We’re confident because we’ve checked with the health experts, » Sharpton said. « They’ve never stopped marching every day in other cities, and there has not been an uptick in COVID-19 in any of those areas, because they’re outdoors and people are taking precautions. And we’re confident that this will also be the case on Aug. 28. »
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