Last Friday thousands of Americans headed to Washington DC, echoing the 1963 March on Washington where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.
Titled the ‘Get Off Our Necks’ Commitment March on Washington, it was a day of action building on the summer of protests over police brutality that were sparked by the murder of George Floyd by an officer’s knee on his neck.
Brooklyn was represented, and we documented the day which started early – the buses departed around 4:00 am, and organizers were observing a multitude of Covid-19 related precautions.
Everyone’s temperatures were checked before boarding, masks, and hand sanitizer distributed.
Protesters from across the country gathered at the mall.
Bklyner caught up with Hollywood Anderson, 28, a recording artist who grew up in Bushwick and was on the bus from Brooklyn.
We asked Anderson why he decided to head to Washington, DC.
“I’m here to show people that we are not scared today,” he responded. “We are not scared. We are here. The energy is real.”
What was he hoping to accomplish?
“Man, they just got to hear you, man, because you’re not dealing with people that fear you,” Anderson said. “You deal with people who ignore you. So when people don’t fear you they ignore you, you gotta make sure they hear you. When they hear you, they can’t neglect. What they hear was brought to their attention unless they truly don’t like you, to which point we’re not trying to convince that person to like us, we just try to change the hearts that they have access to. They want to share, you know what I’m saying, learn something, be something better by accepting information.”
The main event featured many whose families had suffered from police violence – the Floyds, the Taylors, the Blakes, and public figures like Rev. Al Sharpton, Democratic vice-Presidential candidate Kamala Harris.
Martin Luther King III, Dr. King’s eldest son, reminded the crowd that “We need you to vote as if your lives, our livelihoods, our liberties depend on it. Because they do. There’s a knee upon the neck of democracy, and our nation can only live so long without the oxygen of freedom.”
Yolanda King, 12, his daughter, called on her generation to pick up the fight.
Harris sent this pre-recorded message: