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Group wants to shut down DC Friday, blocking intersections and infrastructure, urging for defunding of police

On Juneteenth this year, the annual celebration of the end of the enslavement of Black people, activists call for a general strike.

WASHINGTON — Black Lives Matter DC is hosting a 'Strike For Black Lives' this Friday, urging residents of the District to block traffic, highway on-ramps and police stations to draw attention to its call to defund and replace DC Police with community care efforts.

The strike will be held on the same day as Juneteenth, the annual celebration for the end of slavery in the United States. Aimed at creating momentum for defunding and disbanding MPD, Black Lives Matter DC also said the strike calls to remember those who lost their lives in the DC region at the hands of police brutality.

"We strike to end the logic that anyone is expendable," organizers with the group wrote in a statement. ". We want justice for people killed by police in Washington, DC, especially Terrence Sterling, Jeffery Price, D’Quann Young, Marquees Alston, Miriam Carey, and Ralphael Briscoe."

Credit: WUSA9
A huge Black Lives Matter banner has been hung along the fence separating protesters from Lafayette Square as thousands of protesters remain outside the White House.

The DC chapter is asking people to "join a protest, organize direct action, sick out of work and skip class," to join in on the initiative, which they said hopes to "shut down basic elements of the city." 

Beyond protesting and skipping class and work, they also urged demonstrators to block highway on-ramps, police stations, and areas with high traffic, like city intersections.

Businesses are also asked to put up a Black Lives Matter sign and shut down business from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday while paying their employees. 

The chapter has previously laid out its demands for change and action on policing in the District, most of which center on criminal justice reform like banning chokeholds, increasing bodycam footage release and dropping charges against protesters in the city.

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RELATED: Pharrell Williams calls on Virginia businesses to make Juneteenth a paid holiday

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