Washington DC on Friday, August 28 witnessed one of its biggest rallies in the recent past as tens of thousands of people gathered to demand racial equality and an end in police brutality.
The Get Your Knee Off Our Necks march was oganised to commemorate the 1963 March, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic 'I Have a Dream' speech, demanding jobs and freedom. The recent march in front of the same Lincoln Memorial steps in Washington was attended by civil rights leader the Rev Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King Jr.'s son among others.
People gathered wearing t-shirts that read 'Black Lives Matter' as speakers addressed the recent increase in violent incidents against the African-American community in the United States. The march came on the backdrop of days of widespread protests and violence over the killing of a 29-year-old Black man Jacob Blake, who was shot by a Caucasian police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The march was also attended by families of victims of racial and hate crimes.
Martin Luther King III, who addressed the crowd and those who joined via televisions sets, said that they must 'defend' the freedoms that previous generations had fought hard to win. He also mentioned that voting rights of Black Americans are under attack, referring to US President Donald Trump's recent admission of deliberately blocking money for postal service so he could stop certain sections of the people from voting by mail.
King said that people must defend their right to vote because those rights came after a bloody sacrifice from their ancestors who were lynched for demanding their constitutional rights.
The United States has witnessed a series of protests in the past few months that were sparked following the brutal killing of George Floyd, an African-American man, who was killed by a white police officer named Derek Chauvin.
The protests erupted after a video of the incident went viral, where Floyd was seen pleading to Derek to let him go while he was pinned down by the officer on the ground and had his neck pressed by his knee. Floyd's last words, "I can't breathe" became the symbol of the protests that in some parts of the country even turned violent.
(Inputs/Image Credit: AP)