D.C. gearing up for massive crowds for 'Justice of Else' march
WASHINGTON (WJLA) —
A rousing, song-filled service at New Bethel Baptist Church, provided a preview for Saturday's 'Justice or Else' march in Washington.
"Being sick and tired of being sick and tired," says Carol Mizoguchi, who travelled to the nation's capital from Atlanta. "So really, a real call to action this time," she added.
Thousands of people are arriving in the District, to take part in the 20th anniversary of the 'Million Man March'.
"This march is going to be introduced to a whole new generation," declares Kenneth Braswell, the executive director of Father's Incorporated, a father's support group. "Not only men, but women and families."
Braswell says the 1995 march inspired him to do more for his community.
He still remembers how the National Mall was filled with African-American men from across the country.
"It was just a sea of people just moving from everywhere," he recalls. "Black men just moving towards the Capitol. I'd never seen that before."
As of Friday night, security was very much in evidence along the Mall, and especially near the Capitol complex.
Police cars now seal off several streets.
There are concrete, metal, and plastic barricades set up.
"Initially I thought it was the Million Man March, and I didn't want to be here," Mizoguchi says. "It feels more like it's about families this time for some reason."
The Nation of Islam, and it's leader Louis Farrakhan, remain the driving force for the march.
The concerns include civil rights, employment, and community-police relations.
"As a former police officer, I think that there's some rules that we need to change, before we're going to see real change," Mizoguchi says.
But this is no longer just a men's event.
It's about family.
"They have a community of love around them," Shawn Dove, who travelled to DC from New Jersey with his twin 13 year old sons. "It's a real brotherhood and community and solidarity, of black men and fathers."
There will be numerous street closures, especially around the Capitol.
Organizers have vowed this will be a peaceful march.
"It's about relationships and really understanding, " Mizoguchi says.
"We can make a change," Braswell adds. "We can turn this around. Everything is not as bad as we think it is."