WASHINGTON (AP/WCCO) — Civil rights advocates will on Friday highlight the scourge of police and vigilante violence against Black Americans at a commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Thousands are expected at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, where the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his historic “I Have A Dream” address, a vision of racial equality that remains elusive for millions of Americans.

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But turnout will be lighter than initially intended due to city-imposed coronavirus pandemic restrictions that limit out-of-state visitors to the nation’s capital.

WCCO’s Reg Chapman spoke with one person from Minnesota who is traveling to attend the event, Julian Johnson. He said bringing attention to the issue and demanding reform is the only way to confront the problem.

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“People don’t really understand that there is a separate reality that exists. A reality where the possibility of a negative interaction with police can lead to injury or death increases because you are Black,” he said. “If we don’t do anything, what’s going to happen next? Who is going to be the next one?”

Satellite march events have been planned in a handful of states, including South Carolina, Florida and Nevada.

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