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An anti-racist protest gathered thousands of Americans on Friday in Washington. Along with Martin Luther King’s son and granddaughter, family members of George Floyd and Jacob Blake, the latest victims of racism in the United States, called on political leaders to stand up for change.
Between disgust and determination, a crowd of anti-racist protesters met, Friday, August 28, in the heart of Washington to demand an end to police violence. A protest that follows a series of smears targeting African Americans that have reopened America’s racial wounds.
Fifty-seven years to the day the iconic speech of Martin Luther King, “I have a dream”, tens of thousands of people marched again on the federal capital to demand equality between all.
“We are tired of broken promises,” Reverend Al Sharpton said at the memorial to President Abraham Lincoln, who abolished slavery a century and a half ago. “Black lives matter and we won’t stop until they matter to everyone!” He added.
“Take your knees off our necks”
Entitled “Take your knees off our necks”, the slogan of the demonstration referred to the death of George Floyd, a black forty-something suffocated by a white policemanon May 25 in Minneapolis. His ordeal had sparked a protest movement unprecedented for decades in the United States and around the world.
“Overwhelmed” by emotion, his brother Philonise thanked the demonstrators for their mobilization. “I wish George was here to see you …” he said in tears. “Change is happening because we demand it […] our leaders must follow us. “
The father of Jacob Blake, whose son was seriously injured in Kenosha on Sunday, in the north of the country, made him chant “no justice, no peace”, while the agent who fired seven bullets in the back of the father of the family has still not been arrested, nor charged.
Last outrage, according to his father: the young man of 29 is handcuffed to his hospital bed, while he has lost the use of his legs.
The injuries inflicted on Jacob Blake notably triggered an unprecedented protest movement in the world of sport. After the decision of the Milwaukee Bucks basketball players to boycott a game, the NBA had to postpone several games on Wednesday and Thursday. Competitions will resume on Saturday, however.
Speakers greeted the athletes and deplored, on the other hand, the speech of US President Donald Trump who, for weeks, has insisted on the violence committed on the sidelines of the demonstrations without a word on the merits of the demands of African Americans. Campaigning for his re-election, he poses as a defender of “law and order” against his democratic rival Joe Biden, whom he accuses of wanting to deliver the United States to chaos.
As we mark the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, we must continue the hard work of perfecting our union. It’s up to all of us to carry on the march toward equality, liberty, and justice for all.
– Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 28, 2020
“If you are looking for a savior, get up and put yourself in front of a mirror”
“We are not safe today with him in power,” denounced Tracy Williams, a retired black soldier who came to demonstrate with her whole family.
On an equally political line, several speakers called on the demonstrators to vote massively on November 3, the date of the presidential election.
“We must walk to the polls to defend the freedoms for which previous generations have fought hard,” said the son of Martin Luther King, whose father was murdered when he was only ten years old.
Calling on the protesters not to idolize his father, he told them: “If you are looking for a savior, get up and stand in front of a mirror.”