- Title: Ahead of Trump celebration, July 4 protesters gather near White House
- Date: 4th July 2020
- Summary: WASHINGTON, D.C., USA (JULY 4, 2020) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS PROFANITY*** PROTESTERS ARRIVING AT BLACK LIVES MATTER PLAZA NEAR WHITE HOUSE MORE OF PROTESTERS / WIDE SHOT OF WHITE HOUSE IN DISTANCE VARIOUS OF PROTESTER CHERISH SPEAKING ON MEGAPHONE AND BEING CHALLENGED BY WHITE WOMAN IN CROWD PROTESTERS CARRYING BANNER "BLACK AND INDIGENOUS SOLIDARITY" (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROTESTER FROM HARLEM, NEW YORK, CHERISH, 18 YEARS OLD, SAYING: "What have they given us? They gave us new laws that just enslaved us under a different name. Our brothers and sisters are still enslaved under the 13th Amendment that they claim freed us. I'm sick and tired. I'm sick and tired of coming out here to scream. I want to see change. You know where that starts ? That starts with us. You can't fix black America to fix your black home. That means you go home. You read them books that they gave us, that we took back. Do you understand? Your ancestors weren't allowed to read or write for a reason. As a slave you were not allowed to read or write for any reason. We have all of the tools to free ourselves." PROTESTER WALKING, HOLDING PLACARD "SAY THEIR NAME, BLM" AND SHOUTING "GEORGE FLOYD! FUCK TRUMP" PROTESTERS OUTSIDE ST. JOHN'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH WHERE PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP HELD UP THE BIBLE, SHOUTING "GEORGE FLOYD! FUCK TRUMP" PROTESTERS SHOUTING "BLACK LIVES MATTER! WHAT DO WE WANT? JUSTICE! WHEN DO WE WANT IT? NOW! IF WE DON'T GET IT? SHUT IT DOWN! " PROTESTER SHOUTING "SHUT IT DOWN!" / PROTESTER WEARING BLACK LIVES MATTER MASK PINNED WITH A PHOTO OF MICHELLE OBAMA SHOUTING "SHUT IT DOWN!" PROTESTER HOLDING UP SIGN "I CAN'T BREATHE" / PROTEST TRACKING SHOT SHOWING STALLS SELLING PROTEST MERCHANDISE
- Embargoed: 18th July 2020 22:18
- Location: WASHINGTON D.C., USA
- City: WASHINGTON D.C., USA
- Country: USA
- Topics: Race Relations / Ethnic Issues,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA001CLE8QX3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDIT CONTAINS PROFANE LANGUAGE
Protesters marching for racial equality were gathering near the White House where U.S. President Donald Trump will host an Independence Day fireworks display and military flyover on Saturday (July 4).
Several protesters marched along the National Mall to nearby Lafayette Park and stood outside St. John's Episcopal Church where Trump famously posed for photographs holding up a copy of the Bible in June.
The area has been named Black Lives Matter Plaza and is a focal point for protesters.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to converge in the heart of Washington later on Saturday, disregarding the Washington mayor's warnings of the risk of gathering as many U.S. states mark a record number of new COVID-19 cases.
Police officers blocked off streets around the White House, Black Lives Matter Plaza and the Lincoln Memorial, where demonstrators planned to join one of the dozen organized protests in advance of Trump's nighttime address on the South Lawn.
Activist groups pledged to hold peaceful protests for reforms following the May killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Millions of Americans responded in June by marching against police brutality and racial inequality, leading to widespread removal of Confederate statues and other symbols of America's legacy of slavery.
Trump's Fourth of July event follows a Friday night speech at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota where he accused "angry mobs" of trying to erase history and used the speech to paint himself as a bulwark against left-wing extremism.
Joe Biden, Trump's Democratic rival in the November election, struck a contrasting note with the Republican president and accused him in a Fourth of July op-ed of finding every day "new ways to tarnish and dismantle our democracy."
Apart from fireworks spectators, activists of different stripes also appeared willing to disregard the health warnings.
(Production: Greg Savoy, Angie Ramos)
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