The current nationwide protests against racism, police violence and what is oftentimes the deadly combination of both will continue in a major way next month with a demonstration in Washington to demand law enforcement “get your knee off our necks!” While that quote is the tagline for what organizers have called a Commitment March on Washington, it is also both a reference to George Floyd‘s police killing in Minneapolis on Memorial Day as well as a metaphorical acknowledgment of how law enforcement polices Black communities.
The “Get Off Our Necks” Commitment March has been planned for Aug. 28 and is expected to include the Rev. Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King III, civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump along with families of police brutality victims, labor leaders, clergy, activists and civil rights advocates, according to a press release sent Tuesday by the National Action Network. The event was scheduled to take place on the 57th anniversary of the legendary March on Washington when the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic “I Have A Dream Speech.”
The families of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Eric Garner are among those expected to participate and speak during the “Get Off Our Necks” Commitment March next month. Floyd was killed by a police officer who used his knee to apply deadly pressure to Floyd’s neck for nearly nine straight minutes.
“This March on Washington shows our commitment to fighting for the oppressed, the marginalized, the neglected people of this country,” Sharpton said in a brief statement. “We are tired of the mistreatment and the violence that we, as Black Americans, have been subjected to for hundreds of years. Like those who marched before us, we are standing up and telling the police, telling lawmakers, telling the people and systems that have kept us down for years, ‘get your knee off our necks’.”
King III said he was working to continue the efforts his father began decades ago.
“We are in the midst of the largest civil and human rights movement in history. Now is the time and this is the generation that can realize the dream my father spoke of 57 years ago,” he said in a statement. “Black Americans are still bearing the same hardships my father worked to eradicate, and the only way we can hope to see the future he dreamt of is by continuing the peaceful and radical work he began years ago.”
People interested in attending have been encouraged to register online in advance by clicking here.