Rev. Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King III, Andrea Waters King, Yolanda King, and others are planning a march on Washington. Over 100 organizations including thousands of Americans are set to demonstrate on Saturday, August 28, 2021. This march has been designed in an effort to advocate for the passing of three critical voting rights bills: The For the People Act, John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and the Washington D.C. Admission Act. This march on Washington is also being done in hopes of getting rid of the filibuster which has its roots in Jim Crow.
Mobilization Against Racism
The mobilization of these individuals comes on the heels of Black voters turning the formerly red state of Georgia, blue. These Americans overcame substantial challenges to vote. They mobilized their communities to influence the political direction of the country — “and now ask that the White House and Congress do their part to protect our democracy and stand on the right side of history,” some of their leaders said in a news release.
Voting Rights Matter
It also occurs nearly six decades after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and civil rights advocates led the 1963 March On Washington for Jobs and Freedom, that secured voting rights for millions of Black Americans. African American activists will be returning to the nation’s capital to urge Congress to protect their civil rights.
March on for Voting Rights
There are several groups that have applied for permits to gather on the National Mall.
The National Action Network is organizing a “March on for Voting Rights,” which is an organized demonstration in a number of cities. Among the organizations that applied for permits to hold a gathering were Every Case Matters, Douglass Commonwealth Coalition, March On For Voting Rights, and “The Memorial Foundation, Inc.
Voter Suppression Laws in 48 States
As of January, 48 states have passed 389 bills “that amount to shameful, outright voter suppression, and many have already become law,” March on Washington organizers said in a statement. These near 400 bills are said to be racially motivated by some activists.
“These laws suppress voting methods that enrich our democracy and lead to high turnout: banning ballot drop boxes and mail-in voting, reducing early voting days and hours, restricting who can get a mail-in ballot, prohibiting officials from promoting the use of mail-in ballots even when voters qualify, even criminalizing the distribution of water to voters waiting in the long lines these laws create.”
Picking on Poverty
This necessarily creates a divide based upon racial lines considering that poverty and access to voting correlate with race and wealth in America. Mail-in voting helps people who cannot afford transportation to voter locations as well as those who cannot afford to take a day off from work to vote. It also helps those who may not be able to afford child care and thus is in need of an absentee ballot to participate.
“Racist, anti-democratic voter suppression laws amount to rigging the game. But in America, elections are not a game—and lives depend on their outcomes.
That’s why, on August 28, 2021, we’re marching on Washington, Atlanta, Miami, Houston, Phoenix, and cities across America.”
For Statehood, Green Occupations, and Justice
The Douglass Commonwealth Coalition will be marching for D.C. statehood, green jobs, and justice.
March On Washington claims to be gathering to commemorate the great March on Washington.
Every Case Matters asserts that they are exercising their First Amendment Right to march to the Department of Justice.
It is reported that most of the events begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday.
On the website for the voting rights march, it is stated that the procession will begin at 10 a.m. Unless otherwise indicated, all events will end by 8 p.m. Permits indicate that different groups will gather at different locations.
The March on For Voting Rights is being held in front of the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial and ends at the Washington Monument. The Douglass Commonwealth Coalition will begin its march at Freedom Plaza and end near the U.S. Capitol. March On Washington intends to gather at the Lincoln Memorial and the MLK memorial.
The Memorial Foundation Inc will meet at the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial.