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50th anniversary of March on Washington

By B.J. Murphy

Thousands gathering at National Mall for 50th Anniversary March on Washington.

Washington, D.C. – On Aug. 24, thousands of people from across the country gathered together here at the National Mall to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington. Crowd estimates are in the hundreds of thousands.

The gathering consisted of unions, religious organizations and youth, demanding equality in this country, including an end to racial discrimination, racial profiling, police brutality and mass incarceration. Many urged “Justice for Trayvon Martin.”

In addition to denouncing racist discrimination, speakers of all kinds, including Reverend Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III, spoke to other struggles.

An activist and organizer from Asheville, North Carolina, said of the event, “It was really inspiring to see such a variety of groups – labor unions, civil liberty groups, student contingents, LGBTQ and women’s organizations – all demanding an end to racist and discriminating laws that are still impacting our communities today.”

Many activists angrily confronted the police when they were forced away from exiting the premises. Eventually, though, the police realized the growing rage and impatience of the crowd and allowed them to exit just minutes before the end march began.

After the speeches on the National Mall, the people marched hand in hand to the Martin Luther King Memorial. Many did not stop there and continued marching throughout D.C. The chants of thousands could be heard over the police sirens, “Stop the war on youth of color!” with banners demanding “Justice for Trayvon Martin.”

Protesters calling for the end of racial discrimination.

Final march throughout D.C.

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