More than 1,000 protesters are expected to hit the streets of Boston on Monday afternoon as part of a four-mile march honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., and calling attention to racial inequality and police brutality, according to organizers of the event.
“We are just going to be marching Downtown for a few hours, and then having a rally at the end of it. We are trying to let Boston know—and the world know—that this protest movement continues in the New Year,” said Brock Satter, one of the members putting together the “MLK Day March Against Police Brutality.”
The four-mile march, which starts at 1 p.m., will begin at the Old State House before winding through the streets of the city and ending with a rally at the African Meeting House on Joy Street.
Organizers said the length of the march symbolizes the four-and-a-half hours that Ferguson, Missouri, teenager Michael Brown’s body was left on the ground after he was shot and killed by a white police officer back in August. The officer in that case, Darren Wilson, did not face charges in connection with the shooting, sparking months of protests across the country, including in Boston.
The group of protesters will also be rallying against the death of Eric Garner, a black New York resident who was killed by a white police officer during a confrontation. Similarly, the officer in that case did not face charges.
“The recent police killings of Mike Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York have raised the profile on violence committed by law enforcement nationwide, but the same problem is—sadly—all too familiar to residents of Massachusetts,” according to a statement from the group.
In advance of their planned protest on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, protesters released a seven-point set of local demands, including “the prosecution of police officers who commit murder, justice for families of victims, an end to mass incarceration, and the guarantee of a living wage, among others.”
Satter said while he expects thousands of activists to show up for Monday’s march, he said there are no plans to take over highways like group members from “Black Lives Matter Boston” did last week.
“This march is separate from the Black Lives Matter Boston group, but some of those members may be at the march. This is really a coalition of different forces,” he said. “This action is just a simple demonstration … we are using a simple method of raising the issues, showing our strength in numbers, and through sheer force beginning to turn the tide of public opinion.”
Satter said this particular march is one of many the group hopes to host throughout 2015.
“We are barely scratching the surface. We are going to show this is a really deep, deep issue that’s not going away,” he said. “The movement is strong, and we are looking for more people to get involved.”
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