Protesters representing Black Lives Matter and BYP 100, an organization "dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all black people," descended on Washington D.C. on Wednesday, blocking white pedestrians and traffic. The protest lasted 15 hours, 13 hours short of their 28-hour goal.
The protesters gathered around 7 a.m., just before the morning rush hour reached its peak.
According to protestors, they wanted to protest for 28 hours to symbolize the hours that Michael Brown was left on the street in Ferguson (in reality, it was really only about four hours).
D.C. police directed traffic around the protesters until they gave up around 10:45 p.m. No arrests were made during the event, although protesters were physically chained to a fence that sits on private property.
“No longer will we allow the bodies of black people to lay on the ground or for police officers to call union representatives before calling medical assistance for black people they have just murdered,” said one protester.
“FOP (the Fraternal Order of Police), we see you,” another protester said. “FOP, we make you visible. You have been allowed to function in the shadows and in the hallways of darkness for far too long. You have been allowed to cover up the accountability process for murderous cops for far too long. You have been allowed to pass violent legislation onto black and brown communities for far too long. Today, we shine a light on your policies.”
The event quickly became infamous when a video emerged of the young protestors blocking an elderly man from passing through in 89-degree heat. The protesters berate the man for his “white privilege” and do not let him pass because he's white:
Black Lives Matter picked up their protest the next day, holding a demonstration outside of D.C.’s Office of Police Complaints. Their numbers were swelled by protestors from the DC chapter of Showing up for Racial Justice. According to their press release, the group is made up of “white people for racial justice.”
The protest only lasted for 45 minutes, barely a fraction of the previous day's protest.