Need the perfect of VICE Information straight to your inbox? Enroll right here.
Black People who’ve misplaced family members to police brutality banded collectively Friday to commemorate the 57th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic March on Washington — and so they had quite a lot of names to say.
“I want George was right here to see this proper now,” Floyd’s brother Philonise stated. “That’s who we’re marching for. For George. For Breonna. For Ahmaud. For Jacob. For Pamela Turner and Michael Brown. For Trayvon. And anybody else who misplaced their lives to evil.”
The households of Jacob Blake, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, and others closed out three hours of speeches from politicians, union employees, entertainers and activists on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Greater than 50,000 attendees packed onto the Nationwide Mall to hear earlier than starting the march to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
This 12 months’s theme, “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks,” is a direct assault on police brutality and the killing of Black People. The family members of these slain, many via tears, took to the rostrum to thank protestors for his or her help and share their condolences with others who share the identical expertise.
The sister of Jacob Blake, the unarmed black man who was shot and paralyzed by Milwaukee Police Sunday, spoke on to People who oppose the Black Lives Matter motion.
“I’m right here to let you know in entrance of the world, that you simply’ve received the appropriate one,” Blake’s sister Letetra Widman stated. “We is not going to be your docile slave. We is not going to be your footstool to oppression. Most of all, we is not going to gown up this genocide and name it police brutality.”
Others, together with Jacob Blake Sr., expressed psychological exhaustion over the repeated slayings of black People by police.
“There are two methods of justice within the U.S., there’s a white system, and there’s a black system,” Jacob Blake Sr. stated, calling out the killers of George Floyd, Amadou Diallo, and others. “The Black system ain’t doing so effectively. I’m bored with digital camera [footage] and seeing these younger black and brown folks undergo.”
“I’m bored with studying new names and including new hashtags to an already lengthy record of victims of police terror,” Botham Jean’s sister Alissa Finley echoed, invoking the names of Sandra Bland, Antwon Rose, Terence Crutcher and others.
Voting rights have been additionally an enormous subject on the march this 12 months, as USPS continues to make drastic adjustments which have slowed the mail, simply months earlier than a historic election the place extra persons are voting absentee than ever earlier than due to the specter of coronavirus. The son of Eric Garner challenged folks to take to the polls this November.
“It’s been six years since my father’s phrases turned our phrases,” Garner Jr. stated, referring to his dad’s dying phrases, ‘I Can’t Breathe,’ which has since develop into a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter motion. “We’ve to make a change. I’m difficult the younger folks to exit and vote. Change is feasible, we simply need to put within the work.”
Political motion was one other frequent theme for audio system Friday. Democratic Vice President nominee Kamala Harris, Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Martin Luther King Jr. III all implored folks to not solely vote, however to help laws just like the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.
The evening earlier than Friday’s March on Washington, President Trump accepted his nomination on the RNC with a rambling, hour-and-ten-minute speech that blamed Democrats and the Black Lives Matter motion for violent protests and riots throughout the nation within the wake of Black People who’ve died by the hands of police.