WASHINGTON - A group of protesters who have been marching for ten days from Charlottesville, bringing along with them a message demanding equality and to condemn white supremacy, have finally reached their destination at the nation’s capital.
The protesters for The March to Confront White Supremacy started their trek on August 28 and traveled 118 miles to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.
This march and rally follow the deadly violence in Charlottesville last month. The protesters are also calling on the removal of President Donald Trump from office.
The group was at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial for about an hour as they said prayers, gave speeches, held hands and celebrated the end of their journey in the pouring rain.
Afterwards, the protesters walked to the White House.
“White supremacy affects my life in a deep level and I kept on going because it is something that needs to be done,” a female marcher said. “I think that we have delivered part of the message that we are confronting white supremacy and our next action and our next part of this campaign, I think we will deliver even more messages that we are not leaving.”
The marchers consisted of different racial groups and faith organizations. Rev. Stephen Green, pastor at the Heard AME Church in New Jersey, said it was important to them to have a variety of groups come together to dismantle white supremacy. He believes this helped send an effective message to the country.
“I think we showed this nation that this is the beginning," he said. "We are now marching to the White House to begin to push the envelope forward. This is only just the beginning. We have only just begun. We are here to move towards positive legislation as well as dismantling white supremacy at its core.”
The protesters set up tents Wednesday evening at Farragut Square and are now having what they are calling a sustained vigil. They will have an around-the-clock presence in the area and one of the organizers said they plan to stay here until the end of September.
According to police sources, this is not a permitted demonstration. However, U.S. Park Police will allow them to stay unless things get violent or they set up camp.
FOX 5 asked D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser about these protesters and their extended stay at Farragut Square and she said, “I have to get some information from the chief of police about what is going on. My preliminary information is that they are on Park Service land, that they are demonstrating, and of course, we want to protect people’s First Amendment rights. We don’t permit camping in the District of Columbia without a permit so they will have to adhere to the law.”