Hundreds join protest against racist policing in Washington, D.C.
On Tuesday, June 16, a protest was held in Washington, D.C. to demand an “end to racist police terror” that is rampant in the capitol and throughout the country. Over two hundred people gathered at Mount Vernon Square for a rally and march in the downtown district.
Jueves 18 de junio de 2015 | Edición del día
Photo: La Izquierda Diario
Organizers of the protest, most notably the DCFerguson coalition, highlighted the Soweto Uprising, the anti-apartheid student movement that erupted in in Soweto, South Africa on June 16, 1976.
Participants of Tuesday’s protest were primarily youth from area universities and high schools, including Howard University, the University of the District of Columbia, and the University of Maryland.
Protest speakers decried “jump-outs”, a militarized version of stop-and-frisk, utilized by D.C. officials and police department to lock blacks into poor neighborhoods and keep them out of the commercial and luxury zones of the rapidly gentrified city. The march ended with speakers urging the crowd to continue to take to the streets and fight against police brutality.
DCFerguson was the main coalition behind the event, which also included the presence of the ANSWER Coalition, Party for Socialism and Liberation, and Black National United Front. Organizers chose the date to commemorate the 39-year anniversary of the Soweto Uprising, when South African students protested the Afrikaans Medium Decree intended to forcibly implement a mixed Afrikaans-English language as the official medium of instruction. Black South Africans saw the decree as a racist plan that would force the “language of the oppressor” upon students. During the uprising, youth met with heavily armed police repression, resulting an estimated death toll of 575 people, 907 injured, and 980 arrests.