On Saturday, Dec. 13, the Al Sharpton-led Justice For All March attracted thousands to downtown Washington, D.C. Protesters assembled in Freedom Plaza before marching toward the Capitol, where a stage was constructed for rally leaders, including Rev. Al Sharpton, Rep. Al Greene and the families of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and other black men killed by police in recent months. The crowd consisted of demonstrators of all ages, races and backgrounds.united in protesting police brutality and chanting, “Black lives matter,” “No justice, no peace,” and “Hands up, don’t shoot!”
The mantras have become ubiquitous in D.C., where other protests have shut down major thoroughfares and neighborhoods, from the 14th Street Bridge to Georgetown to Chinatown, in the wake of grand jury decisions not to indict the police officers allegedly responsible for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
Saturday’s march was meant to bring people together to mourn the deaths of those killed by police and to call for national legislative action. The past few weeks’ protests, on the other hand, were marked more by anger, with a mission to shut down roads, malls and stores to bring the issue to the forefront for those otherwise unaffected.
Saturday’s event reportedly attracted over 10,000 demonstrators. Organizers estimated that a similar march held at the same time in New York City drew close to 30,000 protesters.