118-Mile March to Confront White Supremacy Reclaims Farragut Square in D.C.

On Wednesday afternoon, the 118-mile March to Confront White Supremacy culminated in Washington, D.C. near the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Also referred to as the “Cville 2 DC March,” the nonviolent protest began in Charlottesville after one of the largest white supremacist events in recent U.S. history—staged in defense of a monument to Confederate General Robert E. Lee—left one dead and dozens injured.

The march was organized by a transcommunal coalition of multi-issue organizations—including the Women’s March on Washington, Color of Change, United We Dream, IfNotNow, Working Families Party and the Center for Popular Democracy. The diversity of issues, races, genders and faiths that were present for 10 days straight, rain or shine, resulted in a powerful alliance. The crowd’s signs read “end white supremacy,” “marching on indigenous land” and “Black lives matter.” Following the Trump administration’s decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the marchers began to chant, “No papers, no fear, immigrants are welcome here.”

Activists completed the long-distance march to demonstrate that they would not stop challenging not only white supremacy, but also any iteration of racial injustice, misogyny, patriarchy, transphobia, classism, ableism and settler-colonialism. March organizers are calling for all charges against the counter-protesters who were arrested in Charlottesville to be dropped and for a systematic removal of all Confederate monuments, and they are demanding that President Trump be removed from the White House for allying himself with the ideology of neo-Nazism and white nationalists, as well as for a concrete agenda that repairs the damage of white supremacy.

For the last 10 miles, roughly 1,000 people marched. They arrived in D.C. Wednesday evening, welcomed by hundreds of people. That night, they reclaimed Farragut Square to rally and launch “wave after wave of nonviolent civil disobedience demanding Trump be removed from office and that an agenda be advanced that heals the wounds of white supremacy.”

Speakers—all people of color—shared stories about their daily struggles against white supremacy and the Trump administration through speech, song and prayer. They discussed the horror that transpired in Charlottesville and the tragedy of the President’s decision to defer DACA. Ultimately, they promised to support and defend people of all races, and to not stop protesting until tangible measures for eradicating systemic racism are implemented at the institutional level. “We will have a presence in DC until there’s no white supremacists in the White House and until we have a racial justice agenda,” march organizers claimed on Twitter.

Some organizers intend to remain in Farragut Square throughout the month until the March for Racial Justice on September 30. Participants who want to engage in daily actions and trainings must abide by the March’s principles of unity—which include being welcoming to all, respecting local communities and committing to nonviolence, respect and love.

“I think all of us are trying to be heard,” Renata Cardoza from Bethesda, Maryland said in an interview with Vox. “We really want to make a change here—and hopefully help the administration realize that we’re not going to stop.”


Jessica Merino is a former Ms. editorial intern.