Saturday saw a massive rally for police accountability and racial justice flooding the Washington Monument in Washington D.C. But in spite of the nearly unprecedented turn out, the “Justice or Else” rally was barely mentioned on the mainstream media outlets.
On the twentieth anniversary of Nation of Islam’s Million Man March, the “Justice or Else” rally saw speeches from African American leaders, including Farrakhan, calling for unity and institutional reform related to issues that effect the African American community specifically. At the forefront of everyone’s concerns, and the discussion Saturday, was the issue of police brutality, murder and accountability.
The website, www.justiceorelse.com, live-streamed the rally and speakers, making it easy for those who could not be there to keep informed.
For several hours, the hashtag #MillionManMarch was trending throughout Saturday.
a trending topic for much of the day.
While Louis Farrakhan, 82, featured centrally in this anniversary of the Million Man March, few of those in attendance were aligned with the Nation of Islam – instead being focused on the broader call for systemic reform and change.
Farrakhan seemed to “pass the torch” to the activists involved with the Black Lives Matter, police accountability protests, calling them the “future leadership.”
“These are not just young people who happened to wake up one morning. Ferguson ignited it all,” Farrakhan said. “So [to] all the brothers and sisters from Ferguson who laid in the streets, all the brothers and sisters from Ferguson who challenged the tanks, we are honored that you have come to represent our struggle and our demands.”
Others who spoke were ideologically contrasted with Farrakhan and the Nation. Civil rights leader Benjamin Chavis, noted that many mainstream individuals were involved in the original Million Man March, as well as today’s Justice Or Else rally. He commented that 20 years ago, an Illinois state senator named Barack Obama was in attendance – and he went on to become President, “so we’ve made some progress,” he contended.
“But you and I know we’ve got a lot more progress to make,” he added. “There’s too much injustice, too much inequality, too much mass incarceration … too many situations in our community that need addressing, and that’s why we’re here today.”
U.S. Rep. Danny K. Davis, D-Illinois, noted “We will march on so over-aggressive law enforcement procedures will not be the order of the day. We will march on until every child has access to high-quality education. We will march so that every citizen will know that they can get health care.”
He added that, “today’s gathering is a reaffirmation of the faith that the dark past has taught us and of the hope the present has brought us.”
Also in attendance were celebrities like comedian Dave Chappelle, and the parents of victims of police brutality and murder, such as Tressa Sherrod, the mother of John Crawford.
Why do you think the mainstream media has swept this massive rally under the rug?
(Article by M. David and S. Wooten)