Black Lives Matter protestors went to Washington yesterday, staging a die-in at a Capitol Hill cafeteria.
The Washington Post reports that nearly 50 protestors entered the Longworth Building cafeteria in Washington D.C., chanting “Black Lives Matter!” and holding signs that read “Outlaw racial profiling” and “Stop jump outs,” referring to the commonplace D.C. police tactic in which officers, who are usually armed with assault weapons, violently stop and frisk Black men. Protestors then staged a four-and-a-half minute die-in.
The group, which was made up of local activists as well as Jewish, Christian and Muslim clergy were peacefully escorted from the premise, though they continued demonstrating once outside.
“We want an immediate end to this racially biased paramilitary tact and the terrorizing of the Black community in D.C.,” Yasmina Mrabet, one of the protest’s organizers, said to The Huffington Post.
In addition to banning jump-outs, organizers said that they had three other goals they hope to achieve: use the Pentagon’s Excess Property Program to end police militarization, have Congress hold a hearing on policing and push for a bill that would legally abolish racial profiling by law enforcement.
“It’s important to see a congressional hearing on police practices,” New York Rev. John Vaughn told The Washington Post. “I have a 13-year-old who is [5 feet, 10 inches], looks like an adult and I’m scared for his life as he gets older. I want safety for my boys.”