‘We’re going back to Washington’: Rev. Al Sharpton announces march in DC set for Aug. 28

While delivering remarks at the Minneapolis memorial service for George Floyd Thursday, Rev. Al Sharpton announced that on Aug. 28, “We’re going back to Washington.”

Speaking directly to Martin Luther King III, who was present at Floyd’s memorial, Sharpton said, “That’s where your father stood in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial and said ‘I have a dream.’ Well, we’re going back this August 28 to restore and recommit that dream, to stand up.”

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Sharpton continued by saying, “Just like at one era, we had to fight slavery, another era we had to fight Jim Crow, another era we dealt with voting rights, this is the era to deal with policing and criminal justice.”

“We need to go back to Washington and stand up, black, white, Latino, Arab, in the shadow of Lincoln and tell them, ‘This is the time to stop this,’” Sharpton said, drawing applause from the crowd.

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Held in 1963, the March on Washington was a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement, where more than 200,000 people gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to protest inequalities experienced by African Americans, according to History.com

Sharpton was among the civil rights leaders advocating for justice and police reform during the memorial of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis police officer, knelt on his neck for an extended period of time. 

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Chauvin now faces murder charges and three of his fellow officers have been charged with aiding and abetting in Floyd’s death, ruled a homicide.

Protests, ranging from peaceful to violent, have sprung up in major cities across the country and the world in the wake of Floyd’s death. Some city and state leaders have implemented curfews and requested National Guard assistance to curtail potential violence.

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The protests have also evoked strong reactions from political leaders. President Donald Trump condemned the violent actions of protesters and previously hinted at using the Insurrection Act to deploy the military to help quell violence. Former U.S. President Barack Obama spoke on the protests on Wednesday, urging for police reform at the local level to help bring about effective change.