Despite cold rains and tall security fences erected for next week’s presidential inauguration, spirits were high Saturday as busloads of people converged on D.C. for the National Action Network march and rally ahead of the impending Trump administration.
While the fickle forecast likely limited turnout to less than 1,000, those in attendance were still fired up and focused.
Rev. Al Sharpton, who convened the event, shared the stage with a political caravan of people that included National Urban League CEO Marc Morial; Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin; professor Michael Eric Dyson and Melanie Campbell of the National Center for Black Voter Participation.
“We lost an election, but we didn’t lose the war,” said Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, who was choked to death in a 2014 altercation with New York City Police Department officers.
Fulton told the audience she has no plans to stop regardless who is in the White House.
“I continue this fight because my son was killed,” she said.
Sharpton called for President-elect Donald Trump “to stop tweeting and start leading.”
His comments come amid Trump’s latest Twitter war with Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who said that he planned to skip the Jan. 20 inauguration because he didn’t think that Trump had legitimately won the election.
True to form, Trump fired back by tweeting that Lewis should “spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart.”
The Democrats quickly distributed a fundraising email Saturday with a response from Lewis:
“I’ve been beaten bloody, tear-gassed, fighting for what’s right for America. I’ve marched at Selma with Dr. King. Sometimes that’s what it takes to move our country in the right direction. We can’t refuse to stop now. We’re not done fighting for progress. We’re ready for the next four years.”
Most of the buses that arrived for Saturday’s event came from New York, New Jersey and other East Coast locations.
Holding up a sign that read “Trump Will Make America Hate Again,” Tony LaShore, a corrections officer from Boston, said, “I’m here because we need to stop this now. We have been through this.”