WASHINGTON — Thousands of people descended on the National Mall to participate in the National Action Network's Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks, also known as the 2020 March on Washington.
Attendees traveled from near and far to shed light on several issues, such as police brutality, criminal justice reform, voting, and much more.
The march coincides with the original March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which took place in 1963, and where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech.
Here is a look at how the March unfolded:
5:15 p.m. -- Protesters shut down the Key Bridge. This was a group that broke off from the March on Washington earlier.
3:40 p.m. -- Protesters arrive at 16th Street and Black Lives Matter Plaza moving through the area and marching north. Crowds have mostly separated.
2:57 p.m. -- People arrived at MLK Memorial and headed towards the WWII Memorial where they plan to head near the Washington Monument.
2:20 p.m.-- Crowds begin marching towards the MLK Memorial.
2:15 p.m.-- The mother of Dontre Hamilton, who was shot 14 times for sleeping in a park said "I will never stop fighting for you." She expressed to the crowd that people must vote.
2:13 p.m. -- The mother of Oscar Grant said, "we have not received the justice that we deserve." She believes liberty and justice are imbalanced. She also encouraged people to continue protesting and fight for justice.
2:11 p.m. -- Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin used her platform to express that people need to be encouraged and to continue to protest, unite and fight during these times. She read a bible verse to encourage people to trust in God. "Stand up people, we was built for this, keep fighting," she said.
2:09 p.m. -- "It's been a hard road because my boy has been lynched by three white men," said Ahmaud Aubrey's father. He said their family has to keep on fighting and he won't stop fighting until God calls him home.
2:07 p.m. -- "We free ourselves when we fight for ourselves," said the lawyer representing the family of Ahmaud Aubrey. He chanted the importance of Black power.
2:05 p.m. -- The mother of Ahmaud Aubrey said she is proud that God chose her son to be a part of this huge movement. She pleaded the crowd to not forget the names of police shooting victims. "I love you all for standing with us," she said. She requested that the crowd chanted his name "so that he may hear it in the heavens."
2:02 p.m. -- Sister of Botham Jean shared how since the death of her brother she has been working to seek reform. It has been two years since the passing of Botham. "I am tired of saying new names adding new hashtags," she said.
1:49 p.m. -- "2020 is the year we're going to put America on time out," said the lawyer representing Jacob Blake's case. He expressed his gratitude towards the NBA, WNBA, and the many people across the nation bringing attention to the police shooting and standing up for justice. He said the time is now to make a change.
1:42 p.m. --Dozens of D.C. police officers are in place near the Lincoln Memorial, as people begin to march to the MLK Memorial.
1:42 p.m. -- Letetra Widman, sister of Jacob Blake gave a powerful speech at the March on Washington after her brother was shot multiple times by police in Wisconsin. She spoke on behalf of their family and talked about the importance of Black people educating and protecting themselves from racial injustices.
1:39 p.m. -- A D.C. fire truck was seen spraying a cool-mist near the Lincoln Memorial as people gathered for the March on Washington under the heat.
1:32 p.m. -- The family of George Floyd also shared an emotional speech on why they chose to be apart of the march. George Floyd's brother held back tears when he explained that they were at the march to bring attention to all the victims who lost their lives to police shootings. "I have to advocate for everybody, because right now Jacob Blake was shot seven times, in front of his kids, man...," said Floyd's brother.
1:27 p.m. -- Breonna Taylor's mother stood at the podium to encourage everyone to vote as the crowd chanted, "Say her name, Breonna Taylor!"
1:06 p.m. -- Rev. Al Sharpton delivers an inspirational speech to the thousands of people in attendance at the March on Washington. He called on policy change, equality and the importance of voting.
12:56 p.m. -- Martin Luther King III was also in attendance and was joined by his family to share a message of hope to the crowd. He said, "We are taking a step forward on America's rocky but righteous journey towards justice. Aug. 28 is a day to remember the triumphs and tragedies that have taken place in our historic struggle for racial justice. Commemorate March on Washington in 1963 where my father declared his dream but we must never forget the American nightmare of racist violence exemplified when Emmitt Till was murdered on this day in 1955 and the criminal justice system failed to convict his killers."
12:40 p.m. -- "We are the generation that moves from 'me' to 'we,'" said the granddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr. as she shared a speech on the future of equality for the country. "Show me what democracy looks like, this is what democracy looks like," she said.
12:24 p.m. -- The sister of Botham Jean, a Black man who was shot by an officer while he was home eating ice cream on his couch, told us that she is attending the event because she believes police brutality is the largest killer of Black people. She said she wanted to stand with the families of the victims of other police shootings to show support.
11:53 a.m. -- Breonna Taylor's aunt and uncle told us that they are at the march to get justice for Breonna. They said while working full-time to get Breonna's Law passed, they want to see change.
11:50 a.m. -- "I'm not angry I'm tired," said the father of Jacob Blake, a Black man who is now paralyzed from the waist down after he was shot several times in the back by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Jacob Blake Sr. told us that his son is still shackled to his bed by authorities. Blake Sr. said his father marched on Washington and he felt he needed to be at the event on Friday to make a change, share his story and for somebody to get strength from it.
11:40 a.m. -- Rep. Adriano Espaillat of New York, stands in solidarity with African American's fight for equality and justice.
11:33 a.m.-- More people are skipping and bypassing temperature checks and wrist bands by walking across the lawn to tune in to the speakers at the march.
11:28 a.m. -- The leader of Black Girls Ride shares a message of hope to marchers about her miles-long ride to the 2020 March on Washington. She said in November they plan to ride to the polls and they encourage everyone else to do the same.
11:22 a.m. -- "My children should not be marching for what my grandfather marched for," said a speaker who marched for over 750 miles from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He said people need to seek change by voting. He said he and his group were chastised with guns and Trump supporters on their way to the march but they did not give up. "This is a revolution," he said.
11:19 a.m. -- "Black Lives Matter is one of the most important movements in our country," an LGBTQ activist said during a speech at the March. He said as his community waives their rainbow flags they will continue to support the BLM movement.
11:10 a.m. -- Aalayah Eastmond, a survivor of the Parkland school shooting in Florida shared a message of liberation for Black people. She mentioned that all Black shootings don't get the national attention it deserves. She used the mass shooting in Southeast D.C. that killed a 17-year-old and injured 21 others as an example. "Be outraged equally for black lives," she said. Her message to share her insight on defunding the police and for authorities to revisit the use of force.
10:33 a.m. -- The line to get into the march is still long and stretches all the way down Constitution Ave and further down 21 Street.
10:10 a.m. -- The father of a Black man who said his son was shot by Denton police in January shared his story about his son's death by police shooting. The father said while officers tased him, his son's last words were, "My heavenly father, my heavenly father..." He said his son was set to join law enforcement upon college graduation. He said he's marching for justice and to change the system.
10:09 a.m. -- During the march, coronavirus testing is available at a booth near the entrance to the march. There are volunteers urging people to know their COVID-19 status. They said, “It only takes a few seconds to know your status.”
9:47 a.m. -- Marchers were seen wearing masks, holding up George Floyd posters and "Black Lives Matter" flags as the event continues through the morning.
9:46 a.m. -- Rev. Al Sharpton arrives at the March on Washington near the Lincoln Memorial. He is expected to speak to the marchers.
9:37 a.m. -- After walking more than 100 miles from Charlottesville, Va., the Walk The Walk group has made it to D.C. The faith led pilgrimage has spent nine days walking to the March on Washington.
9:30 a.m. -- A temperature check entrance to the march has opened on Constitution Avenue and 17th Street.
9:14 a.m. -- The president of the Morehouse College National Action Network delivers an inspirational speech to the crowd.
8:58 a.m. -- The 2020 March on Washington event begins at the National Mall with D.C. native Nini Taylor.
8:40 a.m. -- The lines to the march is growing and is looping around the area due to lack of entrances. Some marchers are skipping health check-in points and going into the event without bands.
8:31 a.m. -- Black Girls Ride leader, Porsche Taylor, and members of the organization just arrived at the March on Washington. The group traveled from California to attend. Taylor expected to deliver a speech at the event.
8:02 a.m. -- A large crowd of people was seen gathering at DeMatha High School in Hyattsville, Md. to walk to D.C. for the march. The distance is about 2.3 miles away.
8:00 a.m. -- Some demonstrators are giving out free posters as participants walk into the National Mall.
7:46 a.m. -- There's no wait time at the entrance of the march. The second entrance is barely being used.
7:30 a.m.-- A new line that stretches for 1/4 mile down 17th Street has formed for a commemorative t-shirt, not entry.
7:11 a.m. -- General Public entrances are now open near WWII memorial.
6:58 a.m. -- A security checkpoint at the entrance is doing temperature checks, enforcing mandatory mask-wearing and are giving out free gloves and ID bracelets.
6:56 a.m. -- The line to the entrance stretched all the way to Constitution Avenue and 18th Street.
6:43 a.m. -- Dozens of people started lining up to enter Lincoln Memorial. The line stretched around Constitution Avenue and 17th Street.
5:22 a.m. -- Crews added a big shining light to accompany the music as they gear up to let people on the premises.
5:16 a.m. -- The event staff had the speakers going outside of the Lincoln Memorial as they prepare for to permit people to enter and claim their spots for the march.
Here's what you need to know for this year's March on Washington 2020:
When is the event and how can I go and march?
The march, scheduled for Aug. 28, will coincide with the original March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which took place in 1963, and where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech.
According to NAN's website, attendees will need to have a ticket. If interested, you can register ahead of time online. Walk-up tickets will still be available, but NAN encourages attendees to get their ticket prior to the march.
So, what is this going to look like?
Rev. Sharpton, the National Action Network, Martin Luther King III, NAACP Attorney Benjamin Crump and families of police brutality victims, along with labor leaders, clergy, activists and civil rights advocates, will lead a Commitment March to fight for criminal justice reform in solidarity with those who have lost loved ones at the hands of the police.
Who are the speakers at the march?
While the official speaker line up is not yet set in stone, march participants can expect addresses from Sharpton, Martin Luther King, III, and civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump.
The family members of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, and others are also expected to speak, in addition to members of Congress.
What safety protocols will be in place for the march?
The march's COVID-19 protocols for participants include:
- Distribution of masks,
- Thermometer check-in stations,
- Restricting access to buses from states or cities that are "COVID-19 hot spots"
- Practicing social distancing.
Sharpton said that face coverings will be required and one will be given to participants free of charge if they do not have one.
Gloves and hand sanitizer will also be given out to participants.
Once I'm at the march, where do I need to go?
Crowds will be directed to 17th St., NW, to begin the process for entry at the general entrance:
- To participate, each person must receive a NAN branded neon green wristband and a ticket. To receive a wristband and ticket, each person must have their temperature checked, must wear or receive a face mask, gloves (optional), and hand sanitizer from our volunteers, lined up along 17th in between each distribution center.
Due to very limited seating, if you are visually impaired or require wheelchair service please email immediately ADA@nationalactionnetwork.net for accommodations.
If you are unable to stand for a long period of time, NAN highly encourages you to view the broadcast live stream on their website.
Is there be tight security at the event? What about medical services?
NPS Permits Management Specialist and/or Event Monitors may be assigned for on-site supervision each day of the event. In addition, U.S. Park Police officers may also be assigned to provide for public safety.
The GW Medical Faculty Associates are providing professionally trained and licensed EMTs that will provide first aid and emergency service on the day of the event. The staff will serve as first responders for medical emergencies.
Tents will provide basic first aid and life support, and there will be 3 locations with Advanced Life Support programs and cold bottled water for the prompt attention to the health needs of all special guests and all attendees.
The first aid tent is large enough to provide shelter from the sun for those who become overheated. A medical tent will be on-site with cold water at the dispersal point located on the grounds of the West Potomac Park and Lincoln Memorial.
An isolation tent for those experiencing COVD-19 systems will be located near the medical tent located on the southwest corner of Constitution Ave. and 17th St., and inside fencing near the medical tent at West Potomac Park located on Ohio Drive.
Not at the march due to concerns regarding COVID-19? Here where you can sit and watch.
The NAACP announced they will lead a “2020 Virtual March on Washington.” Civil rights leaders, activists, and families of people who have lost loved ones at the hands of police will be leading the charge.
Black Lives Matter, the organization at the forefront of protests against incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against Black people, is also hosting a virtual conference but has also been invited to participate in the march.
"They've been invited and they have a virtual conference that they said will start after the march," Sharpton said of Black Lives Matter. "We're not fighting against each other. We're finding ways to cooperate because all of us want to see something done about the threat of voting rights and about police brutality."
What roads and streets will be impacted by the march?
While the march is expected to have around 10,000 participants if you are planning to leave the city to go into Virginia, plan for an alternative route across the Potomac.
The following streets will be posted as 'Emergency No Parking' from approximately 12:00 am to 11:59 pm:
- Constitution Avenue from Pennsylvania Avenue, NW to 18th Street, NW
- Pennsylvania Avenue from 3rd Street, NW to 18th Street, NW
- Independence Avenue from 3rd Street, NW to 23rd Street, SW
- Connecticut Avenue from H Street, NW to L Street, NW
- Vermont Avenue from H Street, NW to L Street, NW
- I Street from 12th Street, NW to 18th Street, NW
- H Street from 12th Street, NW to 18th Street, NW
- K Street from 12th Street, NW to 18th Street, NW
- New York Avenue from 12th Street, NW to 15th Street, NW
- 17th Street from Constitution Avenue, NW to L Street, NW
- 16th Street From H Street, NW to O Street, NW
- 15th Street from Constitution Avenue, NW to L Street, NW
- 14th Street from Independence Avenue, SW to K Street, NW
- 13th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue, NW to E Street, NW
- 12th Street from Constitution Avenue, NW to E Street, NW
- 11th Street from Constitution Avenue, NW to E Street, NW
- 10th Street from Constitution Avenue, NW to E Street, NW
- 9th Street from Constitution Avenue, NW to Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
- 7th Street from Independence Avenue, SW to E Street, NW
- 6th Street from Constitution Avenue, NW to Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
- 4th Street from Independence Avenue, SW to Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
- 3rd Street from Independence Avenue, SW to Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
- 23rd Street from E Street, NW to Constitution Avenue, NW
- Virginia Avenue from 23rd Street, NW to Constitution Avenue, NW
- E Street from 23rd Street, NW to 18th Street, NW
- New York Avenue from 18th Street, NW to 17th Street, NW
- 20th Street from E Street, NW to Constitution Avenue, NW
- 21st Street from E Street, NW to Constitution Avenue, NW
- 19th Street from E Street, NW to Constitution Avenue, NW
- C Street from 18th Street, NW to Virginia Avenue, NW
- C Street from Virginia Avenue, NW to 21st Street, NW
- D Street from 18th Street, NW to 17th Street, NW
- Madison Street from 3rd Street, NW to 15th Street, NW
- Jefferson Street from 3rd Street, NW to 15th Street, NW
The following streets will be restricted to vehicular traffic from approximately 6:00 am to 11:59 pm: (If safe to do so, vehicles will be allowed to enter the restricted area if they are on essential business or traveling to-and-from their residence).
- Independence Avenue, SW from 14th Street to Ohio Drive, SW
- 23rd Street, NW from Constitution Avenue, NW to Memorial Bridge
- Henry Bacon Drive, NW from Constitution Avenue to Lincoln Memorial Circle, NW
- Constitution Avenue from 12th Street to 18th Street, NW
- Southbound Rock Creek Parkway will be closed at Virginia Avenue, NW
- Maine Avenue, SW will be closed at I-395 to all westbound traffic
- Access to East Potomac Park from I-395 will be by National Park Service permit only
- 18th Street, NW from E Street to Constitution Avenue, NW
- 17th Street, NW from L Street to Independence Avenue, SW
- 16th Street, NW from L Street to I Street, NW
- 15th Street, NW from L Street to Independence Avenue, SW
- 14th Street, NW from L Street to Independence Avenue, SW
- 13th Street, NW from L Street to Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
- New York Avenue from 11th Street, NW to 15th Street, NW
- Vermont Avenue from L Street, NW to H Street, NW
- Connecticut Avenue from L Street, NW to H Street, NW
- I Street, NW from 12th Street to 18th Street, NW
- H Street, NW from 12th Street to 18th Street, NW
- G Street from 12th Street, NW to 15th Street, NW and 17th Street to 18th Street
- F Street, NW from 12th Street, NW to 15th Street, NW and 17th Street to 18th Street
- E Street, NW from 12th Street, NW to 15th Street, NW and 17th Street to 18th Street
- D Street, NW from 17th Street to 18th Street
- Pennsylvania Avenue, NW from 12th Street, NW to 15th Street, NW and 17th Street to 18th Street, NW
If I have out of state guests participating in the march, will they have to self-quarantine afterward?
Anyone traveling to D.C. from states D.C. Health Department deems as "high risk" due to the coronavirus, will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
The new travel order applies to people coming to the District for non-essential activities. On the other hand, those who are entering the D.C. region for essential travel or after essential travel are urged to monitor any potential symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days.
If they have any symptoms, they must self-quarantine and get tested or seek medical attention.
"We have said that if you're in a hot spot state, have a march there," Sharpton said. "We'll have a march that National Action Network is doing in South Carolina in front of the offices of [Sen.] Lindsey Graham, Houston, Texas in front of the office of Sen.Ted Cruz and Florida in front of [Sen. Marco] Rubio's office."
Despite the ongoing pandemic, Sharpton is confident that this year's march will not be a risk to those who choose to participate.
"We're confident because we've checked with the health experts," Sharpton said. "They've never stopped marching every day in other cities, and there has not been an uptick in COVID-19 in any of those areas, because they're outdoors and people are taking precautions. And we're confident that this will also be the case on Aug. 28."