In Washington D.C., Oakland, demonstrators reflect on iconic Poor People's March on Washington amid national unrest

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ByEric Thomas KGO logo
Saturday, August 29, 2020
Oakland demonstrators reflect on iconic Poor People's March on Washington
A small group of about 20 were demonstrating in Oakland today, moved by anger and fear over the police shooting in Kenosha, Wis. of Jacob Blake.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- It has been a tumultuous week regarding race.

There have been large protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin, an event that also sparked a temporary boycott by NBA and MLB players. And violence against Blacks is a key topic in this year's March on Washington, as it was 57 years ago, when Dr. Martin Luther King led hundreds of thousands of people in the first March on Washington.

Three-thousand miles away In Oakland Friday morning, there was a small reflection, a tiny glimmer, of what was taking place in the nation's capitol.

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First chanting, then participants voicing their outrage.

"People are dying on the streets and people are getting away with it," one woman yelled through a bullhorn.

A small group of about 20 protesters, moved by anger and fear after police in Kenosha, Wis. shot and wounded Blake numerous times in the back following a still murky confrontation and motivated by the anniversary of the March, spoke out.

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"It scares me," said Oakland's Amin Cooley. "I'm scared. I have two kids and I'm scared for them, because I don't know what's going to happen to them."

"Things are getting worse and worse and we just want justice. We want peace" said Oakland's Stephanie Magana

Today, relatives of Blacks shot by police took to the national mall in Washington to call for social and political change.

RELATED: Kenosha, Wisconsin shooting: Father says Jacob Blake, Black man shot by police, is paralyzed

It was an echo of the historic Poor People's March on Washington in 1963 led by Dr. Martin Luther King that led to his iconic "I have a Dream Speech."

University of San Francisco Political Science Professor James Taylor says the participants were different this time, but the historical context was much the same.

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