On the 5th of November, the annual Black is Back march took Lafayette Park and Penn Ave in defiance of police who falsedly told them the park was “closed.” The park had been closed earlier after a report of an armed and masked man, but that incident had concluded and marchers found the park open when they defied police demands not to go there. The cops made no attempt to re-close the area.
While the march was stopped a block short of H st, police tried to sow division by claiming “anarchists” were reponsible for their not being able to use the park. This no doubt was a reference to Anonymous and an attempt both to blame the Million Mask March for the armed man at the park, and to create strife at least between Black Is Back and Anonymous. It may have been an attempt to cause strife between Black Lives Matter and anarchists in general on the part of the police, but it ended in utter failure. Black is Back was able to take the park no matter what the police were saying about the permit, so the lies of the police got little credence.
Earlier in the march, slogans like “get those pigs off our backs” were heard and on Penn Ave, one of the slogans chanted was “arrest the police” referring preumably to the bluffing threats made against the march by cops concerning the park. When police made no attempt to close the park or force the march out, their threats were proven to be bluffs. This was a larger Black is Back march than in many previous years, meaning police had to put up or shut up.
Black Is Back taking Penn Ave with or without “permits” or police permission