The Rev. Al Sharpton is planning a march later this month in the District of Columbia to protest the policies of the Trump administration. Sharpton, founder and president of the National Action Network, told the AFRO Aug. 4 that he wants 1,000 ministers from across the country to come to the nation’s capital to let the president know his policies are unacceptable.
“August 28th is the 54th anniversary of the March on Washington,” Sharpton said. “This is where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. However, the dream is in complete jeopardy.
“We are in grave times that call for vigilance and a mobilized effort to confront the administration around issues that are taking us backwards. Faith leaders will be summoned to reaffirm the call to their congregations that faith will drive the movement for justice in today’s times.”
Sharpton said King talked about issues such as voting rights, health care, police brutality, and poverty, and those are matters that “we are dealing with today.”
“That is why I am asking 1,000 ministers to come to Washington to march,” he said.
Participants are asked to gather at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall at 11 a.m. Aug. 28. There will be a pre-march program starting at 11:30 a.m. Then the procession will march from the King Memorial to the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Sharpton said he and the ministers will hold the Trump administration and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions accountable for the rash of hate crimes and their rhetoric and initiatives fueling mass incarceration and discrimination against people of color. He said many Americans are anxious about the country’s future since Trump won the presidential election on Nov. 8, 2016.
“The Trump administration has had detrimental policies toward voting rights and every day, there is new drama in the White House,” Sharpton said. “There is a reality show called ‘The White House.’ Meanwhile, African Americans are dealing with gun violence and police violence that add to the anxiety.
“I say to the 1,000 ministers we can’t sit back and let this continue. Blacks will have to take to the streets to protest these policies.”
Sharpton urges Blacks to be proactive in their opposition to the Trump agenda. “Black people need to register to vote,” he said. “We have gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia and then we have elections in 2018.”
He said that African Americans need to connect and work with organizations such as his and the NAACP to fight the Trump administration.
The Rev. Rowena Joyce Scott is a spiritual and political activist who lives in Ward 8. Scott is a host of a show on the World Power Gospel Radio station located at the National Harbor in Maryland and is a former president of the Ward 8 Democrats, a political organization in Southeast D.C. “Black people need to march,” Scott told the AFRO. “I want to be in that number. Black people are lying too low and we need to rise up.”