DC Protests See Record Turnout, Militarized Police Buildup Continues Despite Peaceful Demonstrations

While the Trump Administration focused on the violence that has accompanied some protests, the demonstrations we have seen in Washington DC over the last few days have been overwhelmingly peaceful, even in the face of an increasingly militarized police force on the ground…

Here outside of the White House the buildup of armored personnel and police has continue to grow as the Pentagon confirms it has moved around 1,600 US Army troops to the DC region. But despite the Trump Administration’s focus on violence and riots, the protests we have seen over the last 24 hours have been overwhelmingly peaceful, and they have also been the largest protests DC has seen yet. 

Protesters gathered by the thousands in Washington, DC Wednesday morning for a march to the Capitol building. Demonstrators said their goal was to continue spreading their message, despite the threat of an increased crackdown. Protesters were seen marching to the US Capitol, chanting calls of “No justice, no peace,” “Say his name, George Floyd,” and “Say her name, Breonna Taylor.” The people that have gathered have emphasized the fact that this is a largely peaceful protest. But at the same time, they are still adamant about bringing attention to those cases of police brutality—the cases where Americans have lost their lives at the hands of police. And in these cases there has been no justice and as they say, there will be no peace.

The protest was organized by the group Freedom Fighters DC, and they repeatedly emphasized the fact that it was meant to bring awareness to a message that has been at the heart of these protests since the beginning. Organizers were seen handing out bottles of water, masks and hand sanitizer, and demonstrators included people of all races, all ages and all backgrounds.

This protest comes one day after thousands were seen marching to the White House, marking the largest gathering this city has seen since the protests began. Many of those protesters broke the 7pm curfew implemented by the district. But even then, the demonstrations were largely peaceful, and the clashes with police appeared to be minimal.

The overwhelming message from the protesters has been that they want their voice to be heard, they want justice for victims of police brutality like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and they want there to be a shift in policing in America to prevent future violence. And despite the curfews, and the increase in militarized police in the streets, these protesters say they don’t plan to stop anytime soon.

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Rachel Blevins is a journalist who aspires to break the left/right paradigm in media and politics by pursuing truth and questioning existing narratives.

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