Scheduled for Dec. 13
WASHINGTON — Civil Rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton has taken the case of the Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island, N.Y., grand juries’ decisions not to prosecute police in the deaths of two unarmed black men into his own hands.
Sharpton, head of the National Action Network, said during a press conference that the country is in a “national crisis,” and he is organizing a rally in Washington to call for intervention by the U.S. Department of Justice in both cases.
"A week from this Saturday, Dec. 13, we are having a national march in Washington, D.C., where we are calling for the Justice Department to take (the shooting in New York) and the case in Ferguson and the case in Cleveland," he said. "It is time for a national march to deal with a national crisis."
"Why are we going to Washington? Because all over the country, we all need to come together and demand this Congress deal with the issues, that we need laws to protect the citizens in these states from these state grand jurors."
A 12-year-old boy was shot in Cleveland by police who said they thought he was wielding a pistol. Instead, it turned out to be a toy gun.
The Washington demonstrators will meet at 10:30 a.m. at Freedom Plaza at Pennsylvanian and 13th streets Northwest and march to The Capitol.
Protests have erupted across America and in many nations in the rest of the world following two high-profile grand juries’ decisions to decline to indict the police officers involved in the deaths of two African-American men, Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner of Staten Island.
Protestors angered by the grand jury decision on Nov. 24 in Ferguson not to indict policeman Darren Wilson for the killing of Brown have shut down stores, highways and engendered sentiment across the world. The protests also erupted into violence in Ferguson as businesses were torched and looted.
Protestors also boycotted Black Friday retailers to draw attention to the injustice of police brutality following Brown’s death and organizations asked shoppers to sit out for this year’s Black Friday, asking that they buy from black owned businesses only so the US felt the economic impact.
Just a little over a week later, another grand jury declined to indict the police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner, who suffocated after he was strangled by police while standing outside a Staten Island store.
Objections to the New York decision drew even wider protests across America and in Europe.
Following the grand jury decision in Garner’s death, protests were even more widespread across the nation, stretching from New York to Baltimore to Atlanta to San Francisco.
In New York, thousands marched through the city and shut down three of the city’s bridges, the Manhattan, the Tri-Borough, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Protestors gathered even in Japan and London. Hundreds gathered to voice their anger in London, many standing outside the U.S. Embassy in Grosvenor Square chanting ‘Hands up, don’t shoot’.”