Washington, D.C.- Just minutes after the Ferguson Grand Jury announcement decision was read, a spontaneous protest gathered at the African American Civil War Memorial. Students marched from Howard University to express shock and dismay at the Grand Jury decision, but protesters also arrived from all parts of the city and as far away as Maryland and Virginia. They carried had made signs saying, “3/5 of A Man,” “Justice For Mike Brown” and “Am I Next?” They paused at the famed Civil War Memorial for a brief period while the police looked on.
D.C. police kept their distance from the boisterous protest, closing traffic and staying far back as the angry crowd grew. Local residents joined the march as it rounded U Street and onto 16th Street on route the White House. As it reached Lafayette Square, next to the President’s home, it had grown to over 1000 participants. The protest was non-violent with no arrests and consisted of many young Black men and women but was also composed of Caucasians and other demographics.
Once there, protesters demanded justice, shouting towards the White House, “Justice for, Mike Brown” and “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied.” No lights were visible from windows of the president’s quiet residence–in fact the blinds were closed towards the building furry unfolding on Pennsylvania Avenue. Hundreds of protesters continued pouring into Lafayette Park, adding tension to it, long after the main surge arrived there.
After 11 pm protesters left for Chinatown, shutting streets and blocking intersections as increasing rage percolated through the march. There was no violence, or arrests reported and by 1:00 am, the protests had dispersed towards Union Station.
Kymone Freeman, with We Act Radio believes the Ferguson process was “another circus in the courts,” he expressed doubts the justice system was capable of returning a decision to indict Police Officer Wilson. Our justice system is “upside down’ and “heavy handed on us,” he said. “Anyone with knowledge of history knew what the decision would be.” He said also he could not find a “single case of a White police officer convicted of murder while on duty of a Black or Brown person.”
Freeman suggests the only way to change policing in the US is a radical shift in police oversight by citizen review boards and demilitarization of police. He also said that police would have to come from the communities
where they are assigned to police. “We won’t see anything different because we haven’t done anything different he said.”
Sympathy protests will continue in Washington, D.C. later Tuesday night as a rally that was planned weeks ago will gather at Mt. Vernon Square NW, and is expected to draw 1000s.
@DCMediaGroup Ferguson protest coverage will continue this week: Follow: Rob Brune @Rousseau_ist (DC), James Woods @JamesFTInternet (NYC), and John Zangas
@johnzangas (DC) and Keith Wrightson @OrganizerX (DC), for live coverage.