News & Politics

PHOTOS: Scenes From the 2020 March on Washington

Thousands of protesters from around the country are marching to demand racial justice.

PHOTOS: Scenes From the 2020 March on Washington
Photograph by Jane Recker

On the 57th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s March on Washington, thousands of demonstrators are once more marching through DC to demand racial justice. The “Get Off Our Necks Mark,” organized by Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, is also featuring speeches from the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Jacob Blake, George Floyd, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, and Breonna Taylor. Protesters have traveled from near and far to chant their names, along with the names of the many, many Black victims of police violence. Here’s a look at the day:

Photo by Jane Recker.
Photo by Jane Recker

Dressed in Revolutionary War-era garb, Ricardo Williams from Florida is using his outfit to send a message: “It’s to remind people that Black people have been here since before the US was a country.” 

Photo by Mimi Montgomery.
Photo by Mimi Montgomery

Long Island resident Gretchen woke up at 2 AM to drive down for the march: “It’s just f—ing important right now. We need to do something. We need to stand for action.”

Photo by Jane Recker.
Photo by Jane Recker

Colorado’s Megan Dogans is wearing a headband embedded with symbolism, recognizing “the ancestors who were picking cotton.” The periwinkle represents unmarked graves of the enslaved. “I know they’re here with us,” says Dogans. 

Photo by Jane Recker.
Photo by Jane Recker.

Denorver Garrett says he was first confronted by police at 8 years old, when he was falsely accused of attempting to burn down a trailer: “I feel like it’s hypocritical for us to say on the dollar ‘In God We Trust’ when America doesn’t love us.”

Photo by Jane Recker.
Photo by Jane Recker

Liz Bonnell and Elyse Nehring traveled from Chicago with painted signs depicting George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. “It’s time for white people to come out as well and show they’re allies,” says Nehring. “We’re all human beings and this is police genocide against Americans.” 

Photo by Mimi Montgomery.
Photo by Mimi Montgomery

After flying in from Washington state, Rachel waves a Black Lives Matter flag in front of the Lincoln Memorial. “I think it’s important to protect Black lives,” she says. “I think we’ve all had enough of watching Black people being shot in the street.”

Photo by Mimi Montgomery.
Photo by Mimi Montgomery

Laurel, Maryland resident Kamil drove in this morning with a sign quoting Martin Luther King Jr. “I came out to support the cause,” he says. “Black lives matter.”

Photo by Mimi Montgomery.
Photo by Mimi Montgomery

Joseph Tiernan, from Reston, has been participating in DC protests throughout the summer. “It’s a big movement, a big moment,” says Tiernan. “As many people as can be out here need to be out here.”

Photo by Mimi Montgomery.
Photo by Mimi Montgomery.

Anika came from New York on a 4 AM bus organized by Unite NY. “I didn’t want to miss this opportunity to do what we’ve been doing this whole summer, which is continually trying to convince the world of our humanity,” she says.

Photo by Mimi Montgomery.
Photo by Mimi Montgomery.

Kimya from Silver Spring holds a double-sided sign, which also says “the American DREAM is my/your son’s NIGHTMARE.” The message is personal: Kimya has a 16 year old son. “I fear for his life every day,” she says. “We’re just tired. We’re tired. It keeps happening over and over.”

Photo by Mimi Montgomery.
Photo by Mimi Montgomery.

Symone and Noah drove six hours from Cleveland to attend the march. “This [is] protest number ten [for us] since George Floyd’s death,” says Symone. “As an interracial couple, we believe it’s very important for us to show our support and be proud.”

Photo by Mimi Montgomery.
Photo by Mimi Montgomery.

Matt from Falls Church stayed up until 5 AM making his sign. The other side features the words “vote out racism” alongside a photo of Donald Trump. “We need to get people out to the polls,” he says. “It’s a start to the solution—getting people in office who are interested in solving systemic racism.”

Photo by Mimi Montgomery.
Photo by Mimi Montgomery.

Stephen Parlato flew to DC from Boulder, Colorado. “[Trump’s] criminal presidency is festering, and we cannot survive another four years of it,” says Parlato. “It’s as if he was the man sent to destroy America.”

Photo by Mimi Montgomery.
Photo by Mimi Montgomery.

Peridot, Demetria, and Fabienne traveled from Atlanta and New York by plane and train. Their signs feature colorful portraits of George Floyd by Brooklyn printmaking cooperative Shoestring Press.

Photo by Mimi Montgomery.
Photo by Mimi Montgomery.

Arlington resident Virgilio holds up a sign in front of the Lincoln Memorial. “I realized the dream has turned into a nightmare, and I had to stand up and say something,” he says. “Back then, they were fighting for change, and we are still fighting for change now.”

Photo by Jane Recker.
Photo by Jane Recker.

Ten year old journalist Tiana Sirmans came from Delaware to practice her reporting and witness the moment. “It feels good to see so many people like me,” says Sirmans.

Photo by Mimi Montgomery.
Photo by Mimi Montgomery.

Grace is a junior at Howard University. “I’m a Black woman, and it’s been too long,” she says. “We shouldn’t have to be here today.”

Photo by Mimi Montgomery.
Photo by Mimi Montgomery.

Seventy eight year old DC resident Ruth says being at the march reminds her of her grandmother, who was born in 1876. “She told me [future generations] aren’t going to take what we took,” she says. “I see this [and] I feel happy, because I’m seeing the things that my grandmother told me come true.”

Photo by Mimi Montgomery.
Photo by Mimi Montgomery.

Nicole flew from Chicago to be in DC. Why is she marching? “Because I am tired,” she says.

Photo by Mimi Montgomery.
Photo by Mimi Montgomery.

Patti drove down from Point Pleasant, New Jersey this morning with her daughter and her daughter’s girlfriend. “I think it’s important that every generation shows its face and says we’re tired of this,” she says. “Too many moms have had to go on TV and say ‘I lost my child.’”

Photo by Mimi Montgomery.
Photo by Mimi Montgomery.
Aicha lives in DC and has been to several of the protests this summer. “This is crazy,” she says. “Americans are killing each other like chickens.”
Photo by Mimi Montgomery.
Photo by Mimi Montgomery.
Alina, Ron, and their dog Chewbacca came from Reston. Her sign says “your struggle is my struggle” in Spanish. “We are also minorities—we’re Hispanic—and we are definitely here to support the Black community,” says Alina.

This post has been updated. 

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