The largest day yet of “Black Lives Matter” protests in the District got underway early Saturday afternoon with groups organizing near the White House, Capitol Hill and the Lincoln Memorial.
Local officials expected somewhere in the range of tens of thousands of demonstrators to descend upon the city streets.
Hot and humid temperatures did not deter thousands of people to protest in the District in the afternoon. Scores of protesters gathered outside the Dirksen Senate Office Building at 2 p.m., many carrying signs that read “My color is not a crime,” “Silence = Violence” and “Defund the police,” one of the stated goals of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Protesters chanted “No justice, no peace” and repeated the names of several black people who died in police custody, including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
Elsewhere, a different group of protesters marched toward the White House.
President Trump planned to spend the weekend at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, but the trip was reportedly scrapped and he is inside the White House, where construction crews have installed additional fencing around the grounds throughout the week.
For some protesters, the day began earlier at the Lincoln Memorial with a gathering that included prayer and music:
Black Lives Matter D.C. planned a protest at Black Lives Matter Plaza — the blocks outside the White House newly renamed by Mayor Muriel Bowser on Friday — for 6 p.m.