City Desk

D.C. Groups Plan Rally for Michael Brown This Saturday on H Street NE


Rally participants on the steps of the National Portrait Gallery last Saturday night.

Local organizers of a Michael Brown rally this Saturday evening hope enough people attend to shut down streets in the H Street NE area, as a way to show officials in D.C. and across the country that they're not afraid to "disrupt business as usual" until police departments across the country implement reforms. Last week, these organizers held a similar rally in Chinatown, with hundreds of attendees marching through the busy area and ultimately shutting down a a portion of 7th Street NW.

The coalition of groups—including the National Black United Front, the ANSWER Coalition, We Act Radio, and the Party of Socialism and Liberation—says participants will march through the commercial strip of H Street NE and the surrounding neighborhood carrying signs and chanting. (Last week, more than 300 people participated in a number of chants, including " "Michael Brown, Emmett Till, how many black youth will you kill?")

Eugene Puryear, one of the organizers of the rallies and an at-large D.C. Council candidate, says organizers are asking for police agencies across the nation, including the Metropolitan Police Department, to demilitarize its forces and hold police officers accountable for their actions, through officer surveillance programs and more effective police review boards. They are also calling for Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot Brown in Ferguson, to be arrested.

"We are more than willing to do what has been done in the past to stop business as usual until change is made," Puryear says. "We need movement on these issues right away."

Those interested in participating in Saturday's rally should meet in front of Union Station—Columbus Plaza—at 7 p.m.

Photo by Perry Stein

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  • Typical DC BS

    Guess they don't have anything better to do. Will thre be rioting and looting to commemorate Brown's robbery before he got shot?

  • mike

    they should try Georgetown, or Tyson's Corner - much better looting opportunities

  • ShawGuy

    Eugene Puryear wants to "de-militarize" the DC Police Department? Seriously?

    Look, I like peace and rainbows and puppies as much as the next guy, but after seeing the military-like response in person to the Navy Yard shooting, and especially after seeing the rioting and looting in Missouri, I want MORE militarization of the police, not less. If there's some crazed mass-murderer shooting up my street or angry mobs setting fire to buildings on my block, I want a police force that can quickly and easily absolutely crush the threat and keep me and my family safe. Bring the tank and the SWAT team trucks and park 'em in front of my house, boys. I'll keep the coffee flowing freely to your guys if you'll keep the mob from burning down my house or the shooter from killing my child.

  • Jim_Ed

    So...are they protesting something MPD has done specifically that has been swept under the rug, because as far as I can tell MPD is about as transparent as they come in releasing statistics about police shootings, brutality reports, officer demographics, and use of force, as was reported in their 2014 report that the City Paper highlighted last week.

    Or is this one of those rallies where a bunch of fucking morons make DC's population at large suffer for the sins of the collective country by having the temerity to live in the nation's capital?

    But sure, nothing engenders sympathy and understanding like protesting something as vague as "business as usual" about an incident that happened 2,000 miles away and has literally zero to do with the people you're hassling. Great strategy.

  • Ward-8

    I am still waiting for a rally to get these enablers,Momma,Granny,Auntie and Baby mommas to help the law abiding citizens and Law Enforcement get these thugs that are destroying our neighborhood out of our neighborhood.They keep holding candlelight vigils, marches and teddy bear memorials yet refuse to point out the thugs killing,robbing and wrecking havoc in our neighborhood, until folks finally take charge of their neighborhood and participate in the election process by voting, we are going to have other Ferguson's.

  • Gilland McGuire

    What's in the food-drinks cause such Nervous behavior actions,
    but first Sigmund Freud was neurologist to ask Mr. Dickinson Georgy the Bohemian man.

  • Washingtonian

    Most of these other comments seem to be made by individuals divorced from reality or clearly benefiting from the white supremacist system which still holds sway over our society. In 2013, 409 Americans were fatally shot by police officers. Great Britain and Japan in 2013? ZERO. That's a major issue... Action must be taken.