News Analysis

March on Washington Against Police Violence Gains Support


Endorse, Support, Build, Donate to August 28 Action!


By Geoff Mirelowitz

SEATTLE, August 6, 2021—An important and in some ways unique demonstration against police violence will take place in Washington DC on August 28, the anniversary of the historic 1963 civil rights March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

The action is being organized by and for families across the United States who have lost loved ones to cop terror. These families see the ongoing fight against police brutality as one of the central and most powerful expressions of the struggle for civil and human rights today.

A new web page launched by “Impacted Families of Police Brutality” emphasizes that the action is “Family-Led”: https://impactedfamilies.com

One page is dedicated to “Our Loved Ones Killed.” On that page, 301 names appear, while almost 500 members of these victims’ families have signed the call for the demonstration. They come from 44 different states.

Participants will assemble at the Ellipse at 11 am for a rally that will feature impacted family members. That gathering will be followed by a march to the Department of Justice. An installation of photographs of the loved ones these families have lost is also planned as part of the action.

Thirty-four images of lives stolen by police violence in Washington State were displayed June 3, 2021, outside the Kent, Washington, Regional Justice Center following a hearing in the murder trial of police officer Jeff Nelson, who killed Jesse Sarey in 2019. This inspired the idea of a similar photo installation as part of the August 28 March on Washington. (Photo: Geoff Mirelowitz)

The 9 minute 29 second video of the brutal murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, sparked a massive outpouring of protest across the U.S. and around the world, against racism and police brutality.

Floyd’s murder turned a spotlight on what can accurately be called a plague of police violence that centers on African American communities. However, all communities that suffer from the effects of institutionalized racism feel this scourge. Nor does it end there. The impacted families working together to build the August 28 demonstration include white families that have also lost loved ones to cop violence. A thought expressed often in planning meetings for the action is, “No one wants to be in this club.”

While a few cases, such as the horrific Floyd murder, attract wide-spread attention, too many others receive little or none. Many of the families organizing this march on Washington have been fighting for years—in some cases many years—to win some form of justice and impose some accountability on police who kill, acting as judge, jury, and executioner. They are deeply aware that all that separates the tragedies they have experienced from the Floyd murder is that the cop violence was not caught on videotape where it could be seen by millions.

The impacted families have decided on two demands:

Reopen the Cases!
Indict and Convict Officers Who Murder!

The web site states:

Mass Action Against Police Brutality brought together impacted families from across the country. The purpose of this event is to peacefully unite the countless number of families from diverse backgrounds that have been affected by police violence.  We will unite in solidarity on August 28, 2021, in Washington DC to rally and march to the Department of Justice.  Our goal is to raise awareness for the need to have these cases reopened and independently investigated. Officers who break the law need to be indicted and convicted.

The conviction of police officer Derek Chauvin on two charges of murder and one of manslaughter was a victory in this fight. But from the Biden White House on down, politicians and police agencies cite Chauvin’s conviction as evidence that the justice system “works.” In fact, it’s the exception that proves the rule. And the rule—pointed to by the experience of hundreds if not thousands of impacted families—is that there is no justice or real accountability. Few police officers are ever indicted or brought to trial, and even fewer are convicted.

These families want the millions who came into the streets last year to know that the fight continues and more public support is needed. All opponents of police brutality are invited to join the action. Other organizations endorsing the march and rally are Mass Action Against Police Brutality, West Wednesdays, Cincinnati Anti-Police Brutality Coalition and Ohio Families Unite Against Police Brutality.

In cities across the country, impacted family members have organized fundraising campaigns on Facebook, other social media, and through other means to help them get to DC. Many have received a warm response.

Funds are also urgently needed for the costs of the DC action itself. A powerful letter appealing for donations has been signed by 10 family members. It includes information for those who prefer to make a tax-deductible contribution. All others can use the link below: https://impactedfamilies.com/donate

Fundraising letter by impacted families

Supporters of the action can also purchase merchandise to help fund the effort using this link: https://impactedfamilies.com/merchandise

Endorsements for the action are still being sought from other impacted families, supporters and other organizations: https://impactedfamilies.com/endorse-the-action

A new web page launched by “Impacted Families of Police Brutality” emphasizes that the action is “Family-Led”: https://impactedfamilies.com
“SAY THEIR NAMES!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WnOt6hV3b0
This is a song by Po Leapai and J. Moe Da Bird, impacted family members who have lost loved ones to police violence in Washington state. On their YouTube site they say, “This song is dedicated to our Uso’s (brothers) EJ Strickland and Iosia Faletogo. Both were murdered by violent LE [law enforcement]. This goes out to every impacted family, who has lost a loved one to Police violence. Our hearts are with you. The song is a reminder to continue to ‘say their names’, because if we don’t, nobody will. May their memories live on, as we pursue Justice.” #SayTheirName #NoJusticeNoPeace #WetCoast #JMoeDaBird #poboxx #Samoa #singer #rapper #Northwest #ImNotReaching #ICantBreathe Photo: screenshot of YouTube video.

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