Protesters affiliated with Black Lives Matter and related groups blocked pedestrians and cars during protests in Washington, D.C., this week (video below).
Around 7 a.m. on July 20, protesters started to assemble near D.C.'s Union Station, says WTTG. Group members lined up in front of the Fraternal Order of Police local office, forming human chains that stretched across multiple streets.
The Washington Post reported that the demonstration involved around 50 protesters of Black Lives Matter and Black Youth Project 100 groups. Some demonstrators chained themselves to outdoor railings near the FOP office on Massachusetts Avenue.
Police reported that the protesters had blocked multiple intersections and told drivers to expect delays. The DCist reports that police recommended that drivers and pedestrians find alternate routes. A number of businesses reported being affected by the blocked traffic.
The demonstrators told reporters that they were protesting the role they say the FOP has played in allowing police brutality. “FOP, we see you,” said one unnamed protester. “You have been allowed to cover up the accountability process for murderous cops for far too long. You have been allowed to pass violent legislation into black and brown communities for far too long. Today, we shine a light on your policies.”
Organizers told reporters that they would protest for 28 hours, which they say references the number of hours that Michael Brown remained in the street after he was shot in Ferguson, Missouri. Reports indicate that the demonstrators left the scene after about 12 hours.
An exchange between an elderly white man and some of the protesters went viral in the days following the protests. In a video posted to Facebook by Fox, the unidentified man approaches the line of protesters, attempting to use the public sidewalk on the other side of the demonstration.
The video has garnered more than 2.5 million views, 8,000 shares, and 4,500 comments in two days.
“That was just ignorant,” reads one of the top-voted comments on the video. “How can you demand respect if you don’t give it yourself… He just wanted to walk through… He was not asking them to stop… Now protesters can determine where and when we can walk?”