Tens of thousands of people are expected in D.C. Saturday for a variety of rallies and protests focusing on statehood for the District, voting rights and other social justice issues.
The stage is set for the March on for Washington and Voting Rights, which will feature a long list of speakers including Martin Luther King III, the Rev. Al Sharpton, D.C. May
One of the organizers who wants statehood for D.C., Jamal Holtz, is scheduled to speak.
“We are tax-paying citizens, and my grandmother, my mother, none of us had the opportunity to vote for a United States senator to represent our values on the Hill,” he said.
Holtz and other speakers hope to make a connection with lawmakers who may not agree with the desires of the tens of thousands of people who live in Washington.
“If 51 votes was enough for Mitch McConnell to confirm three Supreme Court justices, then it should be enough for a democracy, so that’s what we’re fighting for,” Holtz said.
There are six permitted rallies and protests taking place in the city, mostly along the Mall.
Organizers of all of the events estimate a total of 75,000 people going to the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument grounds, along the Mall at Seventh Street and on the Mall near the Capitol. But participants need to be prepared for the weather and COVID-19.
“For the last year plus, we have worked with organizers of events to include in their event planning a COVID mitigation plan -- everything from requiring masks to social distancing,” said Mike Litterst of the National Park Service.
Saturday’s rallies fall on the 58th anniversary of the historic March on Washington, which took place at the Lincoln Memorial. That’s where the Make Good Trouble rally will be held.
The March on for Washington and Voting Rights rally will begin at McPherson Square and march through Black Lives Matter Plaza before heading to the Mall.
Parking will be heavily restricted along the Mall during Saturday’s rallies. D.C. police will be closing two main arteries 14th and 7th streets between Constitution and Independence avenues.
DC Road Closures for the March on Washington Anniversary
Here's the full list of road closures and parking restrictions from D.C. police:
The following streets will be posted as Emergency No Parking from approximately 4 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.:
- 3rd Street from Independence Avenue, SW to C Street, NW
- 4th Street from Independence Avenue, SW to Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
- 7th Street from Independence Avenue, SW to Constitution Avenue, NW
- 13th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue, NW to F Street, NW
- E Street from 12th Street, NW to 15th Street, NW
- 14th Street from F Street, NW to Independence Avenue, SW
- 15th Street from K Street, NW to Constitution Avenue, SW
- 15th Street from K Street to I Street, NW (west side of McPherson Square)
- Pennsylvania Avenue from 15th Street, NW to 12th Street, NW
- Vermont Avenue from I Street, NW to H Street, NW
- 16th Street from K Street, NW to H Street, NW
- Connecticut Avenue from I Street, NW to H Street, NW
- 17th Street from K Street to I Street, NW (east side of Farragut Square)
- I Street from 17th Street, NW to 15th Street, NW
- H Street from 17th Street, NW to 15th Street, NW
- Constitution Avenue from 18th Street to Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
- Jefferson Drive, SW from 3rd Street to 14th Street, SW
- Madison Drive, SW from 3rd Street to 14th Street, SW
The following streets will be closed from 6 a.m. until 4 p.m.:
- 14th Street from Constitution Avenue to Independence Avenue, SW
- 7th Street from Constitution Avenue to Independence Avenue, SW
- Jefferson Drive, SW from 3rd Street to 15th Street, SW
- Madison Drive, SW from 3rd Street to 15th Street, SW
- 12th Street Tunnel