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Al Sharpton announces march in Washington on anniversary of historic demonstration

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 6/4/2020 Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY
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WASHINGTON – The Rev. Al Sharpton announced Thursday he is organizing a march in Washington, D.C., to take place on August 28th, the 57th anniversary of the historic March on Washington to "restore and recommit that dream."

"We're going back to Washington," Sharpton declared when giving his eulogy at the funeral of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who suffocated last week after a Minneapolis police officer pinned him to the ground with his knee.

More: Senate Democrats, some kneeling, honor George Floyd with moment of silence at Capitol

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Floyd's death has sparked demonstrations in cities around the country, and world, with protesters calling for reform against police brutality and the criminal justice system. 

"We going back to Washington, Martin," Sharpton declared again, addressing Martin Luther King III, the son of the civil rights leader, in the crowd. "That's where your father stood in the shadows of the Lincoln Memorial and said, 'I have a dream.' " 

'I can't breathe': Protesters lie down on DC street, repeat Floyd's words

Gallery by photo services

Sharpton called to restore and recommit to the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., saying, they were going back in August "to stand up, because just like in one era, we had to fight slavery. Another era, we had to fight Jim Crow. Another era, we dealt with voting rights. This is the era to deal with policing and criminal justice."

"We need to go back to Washington and stand up – black, white, Latino, Arab in the shadows of Lincoln and tell them ‘This is the time to stop this,'” he continued. 

The March on Washington in 1963 was when MLK delivered his iconic "I Have a Dream" speech and is one of the most important civil rights demonstrations in American history. 

King III will be involved in the planning and organizing of the march, as well, according to Sharpton, who said he and King III have planned to "organize in every region, not only for a march, for a new process." Sharpton also mentioned a movement to be led by the Floyd family and other "families that have suffered this, and know the pain." 

More: Americans disapprove of Trump response to George Floyd death and protests, polls find

The day of the march falls one day after President Donald Trump is expected to formally accept the nomination as the Republican Party's candidate for president.

Sharpton condemned Trump, who has been widely criticized for his response to Floyd's death and the protests. Without naming him specifically during the eulogy, he asked of Trump's campaign slogan, "Talking about 'Make America Great' ... great for who?"

We will "make America great for everybody, for the first time," he said, adding it "never was great for blacks. Never was great for Latinos."

More: GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski backs Mattis' criticism of Trump, says she is 'struggling' over whether she can support president

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, 44, was charged last week with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, charges that were upgraded to second-degree murder Wednesday.

The other three officers standing by; J. Alexander Kueng, 27, Thomas Lane, 36, and Tou Thao, 34, have now been charged with one count each of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Al Sharpton announces march in Washington on anniversary of historic demonstration

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