D.C. holds vigil and march against police brutality 800 miles from Ferguson

This weekend, Washington D.C. became the hub of the latest event in the string of nationwide demonstrations against police violence and the grand juries’ decisions in the Ferguson and Eric Garner cases.

According to The Washington Post, the march mourned the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner specifically, while also paying tribute to those of John Crawford III, Amadou Diallo, and Tamar Rice.

The demonstration began with a “Vigil for Justice: People of Faith Lighting the Way” along 16th Street, the idea for which was conceived in Susan Greer Burton’s living room the night of Dec. 3.

Burton, who is white, was watching the news with her adopted daughters, who are black, when they learned that the grand jury failed indict the white New York police officer who placed Garner in a chokehold. According to the DCist, they watched the video of the incident, showing Garner’s pleas for help in the moments before his death.

The “Justice for All” march commenced on Saturday morning at the Freedom Plaza near the White House. Thousands of people joined Rev. Al Sharpton using signage and voices to get out the phrases “hands up, don’t shoot”, “I can’t breathe”, and “black lives matter”—phrases that have been coined and used around Georgetown as well, like in a campus display and last Tuesday at the men’s basketball game.

Protestors from around the country flocked to the capital from places like Chicago, New York, Ferguson, Arlington, and Silver Spring, along with many other cities. Marchers were joined by Lesley McSpadden, mother of Michael Brown, Michael Brown Sr., father of Michael Brown, Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner, Esaw Garner, wife of Eric Garner. Other influential figures like Representative Al Green (D-Texas) joined the demonstration as well.

The march on Washington was one of many to sweep the nation in the past week including the Millions March which took place in Manhattan on Saturday—the largest demonstration in New York City yet, since the grand jury’s decision on the Eric Garner case.

Photo: Stephen Melkisethian via flickr

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