Thousands of people gathered on Sunday for prayer and protest in Washington



Black Leaves Matter Plaza transformed into a church on Sunday morning, with thousands of African-African church members praying, protesting, kneeling, and dancing near the White House after marching from the National Museum of African American History and Culture.


It is the largest faith-based event in protests that have lasted more than two weeks since the assassination of Minneapolis police officer George Floyd in May, and the first major public event organized by black clergy. The coronavirus pandemic is particularly troubling in the afflicted African American community, administrators said.

The regional NAACP branches and administrators of the historic Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, with roots from the Thomas Jefferson presidency, "need masks! Safe social distance has been implemented". Marshall oversaw security. Protesters lined up, and organizers often stopped the flow of protesters to keep buffers between them. People move from place to place, but most wear masks, including African-style models.

Alfred Street Pastor Howard-John Wesley said he and other pastors are also looking forward to the event with prayer and security. The Trump administration forcibly removed protesters from the area near Lafayette Square ahead of President Trump's photo opportunity on June 1 at the historic St. John's Episcopal Church. On Sunday, the demonstration of the Confederate Force was replaced with prayer.

Wesley said, "We are not provoked by anger, but we are waiting for something that will unite our faith." "We want to protect anything for teenagers - I was afraid they would come into the city. We wanted to teach them how to protest peacefully."

And that’s what they did on Sunday.

"It's not anger or anger. God is here and he's hopeful," he said.

The same ground near St. John's, by noon, was the prayer, reading, singing, and preaching of the leaders of Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Christianity. Among them is one of the most prominent progressive clergymen in the country, the Rev. William Barber II, called for “moral reconstruction,” which attracts people of all backgrounds and races and forces policy change rather than moderation.

"The streets don't call for a moderate change," Barber said in an interview. God help us if we don't.


Hundreds of individuals and families went to the same area on Sunday, playing loud guitars and "We Shell Overcome", while others ate poppies. He spread the message in chalk and stared at the wall of the posters - "How many were shot?" One Read - Continuing protests around the country and painting moments in our own history.

Joseph Young, 64, of Northeast Washington, has repeatedly found that he has given up hope for real change, but has drawn himself to the area around Lafayette Square. As a teenager in Los Angeles in the 1970s, a police officer stopped and choked him. The officer eventually released him, but he did not forget the "accidental smile."

In the days after Floyd's death, Young questioned his own reaction, which was blunt. "I didn't fight, I didn't cry, I didn't fight back," he said. More recently, he began to understand that "I was able to save my life without an answer."

After surviving the police for decades, Young was driven by "young, old, blonde, black, brown, yellow ... deportation ... I don't have to look for it, or resist it. But if I have to - I will," Young said. Young people have revived my hope of doing well. "

A broad representation of the Black Church was demonstrated Sunday, this time giving voice to the views of various black Christians on the call. The Black Baptists and Black Pentecostals were among those who performed Sunday morning, and the Rev. Fr. Barber took part in a broader effort to bless the day after the protests.

Nye, co-chairman of a faith-based advocacy group known as the Poor People's Campaign, gave a wonderful speech from the rising nave of the Washington National Cathedral - an audience of 14,000 viewers online.

Barber said Floyd's murder and the untimely deaths of the poor during the epidemic were consistent with American history and its "unnecessary acceptance of death."

He calculated the deaths of African-Americans, brought Africans into slavery, children who suffered and died because of child labor practices, and more.

"This raw truth needs to be heard in this country because America has a long history of death that will lead us to this moment!" Barber said that the size and intensity of his words had shaken his movement so many times. "We can't repent until we face it ... America, you're killing yourself!"

Many marketers, who previously called the organizers a "prayer walk," emphasized the need for prayer-steep activation when walking out of the mall on the first day. He cites the famous treatise from the book of James: "Lust died without faith."

Walking along 15th Street NW, people stopped at stations where they could pray - for "affordable health care", for victims of police brutality, and for "courage to speak the truth in power." He also chanted the names of those killed by the police and spoke on a daily basis.

Carrie Healy, who always carries a reading of "Pray," said she was overwhelmed by the "unconscious bias and exaggeration" she often encounters.

"When you show up in the corporate boardroom and you have to remind yourself that you're black. When you want something in customer service, you have to remind yourself that you are black. Before the officers get out of the car, you have to remember," Alexei, 54. ". "

The cruelty of the video, which captured Floyd's last minutes, is that she believes that the time he puts the officer under his knee has changed things. "It's different - when you see corporations talking, the NFL commissioner is saying he's wrong ... It implies that people are listening," Healy said.

The Marchers moved into the newly renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza to fill 16th Street from Lafayette Square to K Street, taught by Wesley

In March, Black Lives Matter Plaza came to Plaza, filling 16th Street from Lafayette Square to K Street, and Wesley preached with the White House as a backdrop.

Wesley, "We Pray and Break the Heart of This Country"

"God, show me as strong as you did in Jerusalem on Sunday," he said, referring to the story of the resurrection of Christ. "Show yourself in Minneapolis!" Atlanta! Washington! God wants to see my sons growing up! God show you strong! "

When the protesters arrived at the plaza, the organizers said to the speakers: "Helicopter weapons! Make space! If you touch anyone, you're very close!"

The March and Prayer rally is a centered and yet optimistic experience, compared to some two weeks ago when most people experienced nothing but anger. Some said they were encouraged to come forward to reform the law.

Christian Bentley, 33, who lives in Alexandria and works in marketing and mental health, said, "If you asked me two weeks ago if Confederate statues would start tearing up the earth and our system, I would never believe it." It's amazing that America is ready, "

Bentley marched across the small, wooden cross of the Black Jesus, engraved by the Black Catholic Order of the Josephite brothers. In the same hand, he placed on the beads of his danda.

The protesters later danced to the musical Lok Shatru at the Plaza.

Police and military vehicles blocked several intersections in the city in the morning. Near the White House, officers watching police vehicles with their lights and a crowd of church protesters make their way through Lafayette Square to hundreds, including many families.

Drummers played near the AFL-CIO building, which was damaged by fire at the start of the protests. Police officers quarreled over a boy trying to climb a tree from a tree in Chowk.

"T-shirt! Face mask! Salute!" The salesman screams as people pull up selfies and read chalk messages in the plaza

"" I can't suck, "said another vendor," Black Lives Matter Mask. "

A small group of people gathered around Stacey Roy as she sang in the choke. That old spiritual, "Oh Freedom!" His throat was rising in clear air.

Roy, from Body, MD, was a backup singer at President Barack Obama's first inauguration, and she didn't protest because of her three children.

But he needs to sing in front of the White House on Sunday. And she brought Stephen Roy Jr., 17, Semaz Roy, 6, and little Sarah-Love Roy, 1 with her.

She and her husband Stephen were nervous, Roy said, and she asked a police officer if she was allowed to sing - something she had never dealt with until a few weeks ago.

"They said we still have the First Amendment," she said, standing in a closed area a few days earlier. "I was like, 'Yeah, I know, but it's very broken.'

In the silence after the singing was over, he held out his hands.

"I feel very free," he said. "I really like to laugh. I think so, so free."

Eric Carter, 34, took the Metro on Sunday from Woodbridge after getting out of protest during the epidemic. He is trying to balance the beautiful days in support of change and appreciate the diversity of the audience.

His signal was a little more intense, Carter said. "This is a fallacy - it does not signify peace or unity. But I thought first thing: 'Who's next?' Nothing stops. "

Ebony Smith, a reading specialist at Prince George's Public Schools who brought her three children to the Black Lives Matter Plaza after church services, said there was a sense of change in the air and that her children should see it.

Smith holds the hand of his son Derrick, 7, who has a twin

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