This past Saturday, August 28th, was the 58th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr's 'I Have A Dream' speech. To commemorate the occasion and to demand that Congress act to protect voting rights, the March On For Voting Rights march and rally was held in Washington DC, with satellite actions in other cities.
More than 400 bills with provisions that restrict voting access have been introduced in 49 states in the 2021 legislative sessions, with at least 18 states enacting 30 laws that restrict access to the vote. (source)
This Jim Crow 2.0 brought thousands out into the streets of Washington DC, marching in heat and humidity that made seem like the thermostat had hit triple digits.
The march began in McPherson Square Park, with the crowd beginning to gather around 8am for pre-march rallies and speeches.
Around 10am the march set out from the park, with notables such as Rev. Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King III, and Yolanda Renee King leading it off.
The march passed through Black Lives Matter Plaza and moved past the White House and Washington Monument before making its' way to the National Mall for a rally in front of the U.S. Capitol.
If the march had started much later the heat would have been damn near unbearable. As it was, the occasional block or two of shade was a much welcomed relief.
In a welcome change from many of my experiences here in Louisville, the DC police didn't harass us and mostly just blocked traffic along the line of march and around the rally.
Another welcome change from Louisville was the lack of armed and armored people parading about. Between those two things it made for a lot less excitement and adrenaline but that was more than okay with us.
Instead, there was a diverse array of people marching, chanting, and carrying flags and signs.
Even the littles and the stuffed animals were out in the street.
Eventually we reached the Mall and made our way down to the end near the U.S. Capitol where the rally was.
Everybody made for the shade of the trees along the sides of the Mall.
There was a stage set up in front of the Capitol with socially distanced seating for the VIPs in front of it. Even the VIPs wanted no part of the hot August sun and it didn't fill up until they opened it up to everyone.
From this point until the rally ended at 4pm a host of speakers addressed the gathered crowd. I'd only brought my 50mm prime lens and without a press pass I wasn't getting close enough to get good shots of the speakers so I wandered about shooting the crowd instead.
There were several other actions/rallies going on around the Mall to commemorate the occasion, eventually we wandered over to catch a bit of them as well.
The whole day was quite an experience and still seems a bit unreal. I took way more photos than will fit in a single post but I hope this give y'all some notion of what it was like.