WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) – Thousands turned up in Washington, D.C. Friday protesting racial injustice nearly six decades after Martin Luther King Jr. did the same thing.
Tens of thousands converged on the National Mall to speak out against racial inequality.
“It’s overdue time for change and I believe it can happen,” said Kevin Griffin.
Kevin and Tiffany Griffin came from Indianapolis for the march, which was organized by the NAACP and the National Action Network.
“I’m excited,” said Tiffany Griffin. “I’m excited that so many people are showing up.”
Activists and politicians, like Ohio Democratic Rep. Joyce Beatty, called for action.
“So we must tear down the walls of injustice,” Beatty said.
Friday also marked the 57th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech, which happened on the site of Friday’s march.
“I think he’d say, like, ‘There’s still a lot of work to do,’” said Leslie Longmire, who traveled from Youngstown, Ohio, with King’s words on her mind. “And he would absolutely be proud.”
But beyond the day’s historical note, many said they came to honor those who they believe were killed unjustly by police.
“We have to make sure that we are standing for them because they can’t stand for themselves anymore,” said Tiffany Griffin.
Organizers said safety is a top priority at the march, with long lines to get into the National Mall. Every single person got their temperature taken, a mask if they needed one, and a bottle of hand sanitizer.”
“I just feel really safe,” said Longmire.
Masks were mandatory to protect against COVID-19, but many said the disease is a risk they’re willing to take.
“It needs to be done,” said Tiffany Griffin. “We just pray that everyone will be safe while they’re here at the march.”
Organizers said in-person attendance may end up lower than expected because of fears about the pandemic.