Blackout DC blocks 395, stages coffin ceremony at US Capitol

On the 15th of August, Blackout DC staged what was announced as a march from the White House to the Capitol to protest police murder of Black and Brown people. Cops expected a direct march but got a surprise! The march diverted from Penn Ave north up 7th st to Chinatown, then proceeded east to block the I-395 tunnels before finally going to the US Capitol. At the Capitol, offerings for those murdered by police were placed in a cardboard coffin. This was intended to take place on the Capitol steps, but US Capitol police blockaded the top exits from the Capitol West Lawn against protesters-and only protesters. As a result the offering ceremony took place on the spot where people were blocked.

The march began for many at Lafayette Park, but was joined by a second march to the White House from the Dept of Justice. Soon the merged march headed back out, iniitally down the route most White House to US Capitol marches would take down Penn Ave. At 7th st, marchers pulled a surprise left turn. It appeared the target would now be the usual 7th and H st intersection at Chinatown, but protesters didn’t stay there long at all. Soon the march headed east on H st. From there the march went down the ramp to I-395 and blocked both sides of the road. It took quite a while for cops to reach the march there, wrong-waying back up the freeway in at least one case. As police started building up, marchers withdrew, heading towards tha Capitol after all.

At the Capitol, a coffin was brought up as the march crossed the Capitol West Lawn, only to encounter a police barricade at top of the paved walkway on the south side of the Capitol lawn. Tourists walked freely behind the police lines, having entered by another route. The coffin, with a teddy bear in it for a 7 year old murdered by police, was brought right up to the front line but police simply would not allow a remembrance for the fallen to take place on the Capitol steps. At that point marchers draw back a few feet and conducted the ceremony at the top South corner of the Capitol lawn. Tributes given included a teddy bear for 7 year old Aiyana Jones, cigarettes and a turn signal for Sandra Bland, Skittles for Trayvon Martin, a cross for those murdered in Charleston, and so many others. Near the end of the program one speaker warned “Get ready for war.”

Video-395 shutdown and coffin/offering ceremony at the US Capitol(6 min)


The march on Penn Ave just before the route was diverted

Blackout DC blocking I-395

Both sides of I-395 blockaded just out of the tunnel under the US Capitol grounds

Some of the signs seen in the march

Yes, the march did go to the Capitol. Here’s what US Capitol Police thought of putting offerings of items associated with people murdered by police (e.g Skittles) in a casket on the Capitol steps

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