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Scores of people are expected to attend several demonstrations in Washington, D.C., on Saturday in what may become the highest-attended in a string of protests against racism and police violence.
People have taken to the streets in D.C. and across the nation demanding justice for the death of George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis after a police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. City agencies are expecting a large turnout of peaceful protesters.
There are several different organized protests for Saturday. Starting at noon, a One Million Persons demonstration is planned at the Lincoln Memorial.
At 3 p.m. a march is scheduled on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.
There will be a Protest! DC rally in Lafayette Square at 4 p.m. And the District Peaceful Protest will take place starting in at 5 p.m. in Malcolm X Park.
There will be a series of street closures for traffic and parking to accommodate the demonstrations. Cars will not be able to access downtown streets from 6 a.m. until midnight. D.C. police shared the following map.
D.C. Fire Chief Gregory Dean said his department plans to increase staffing as they prepare for anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 protesters.
"We assume that everybody will be peaceful," he said Friday.
Their major concern for Saturday is the heat. Temperatures are expected to reach 90 degrees. The fire department is urging protesters to take extra precautions to remain safe, including staying hydrated. Cooling stations with drinking water are planned.
Metro is planning to accommodate an increased number of riders heading downtown. The first and last cars of trains will be opened, The Washington Post reported. The rail cars have been closed to protect train operators from COVID-19.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser requested that President Donald Trump remove “all extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence from Washington, D.C.”
She said the military units are "operating outside of established chains of command" and adding to confusion by lacking identifying insignia.