Emancipation Day Festivities Planned
The D.C. government is sponsoring a variety of activities tomorrow to celebrate Emancipation Day -- the anniversary of the date that President Abraham Lincoln freed all slaves in the District.
The event is a holiday in the city, and the Department of Motor Vehicles will close all facilities for the day.
A wreath-laying ceremony at 10 a.m. at Lincoln Park in Northeast and a parade at 11 a.m. on Pennsylvania Avenue between Fourth and 14th streets NW are scheduled. Musicians, dancers and other artists will perform starting at 2 p.m. at Freedom Plaza, 14th and Pennsylvania, followed by a concert at 5:30 p.m. and fireworks at 8:15 p.m.
Lincoln signed the Emancipation Act on April 16, 1862, ending slavery in the District nearly nine months before he signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves throughout the country.
Officials to Discuss Joint Police Patrols
Police and federal authorities are scheduled to meet today to discuss problems that have prevented the start of joint police patrols along the D.C.-Prince George's County line, D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said yesterday.
Ramsey disclosed the meeting during an oversight hearing of the D.C. Council. He said Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) met Tuesday with U.S. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and requested his help with starting the program. Authorities announced in October that they were going to begin joint patrols -- with some police officers being deputized by the U.S. Marshals Service. Officials have said a review at the marshals' headquarters has delayed the program.
Law on Protester Arrests Takes Effect
A bill written to prevent police from arresting peaceful protesters en masse became law this week.
The law requires city officers to witness the crime they suspect each person has committed, to wear badges identifying themselves and to avoid using tear gas on peaceful protesters. The bill was introduced by D.C. Council member Kathy Patterson (D-Ward 3).
The law takes effect just before protesters are expected to rally this weekend during the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings. It was championed after a mass arrest of 400 protesters in Pershing Park in 2002 for which Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey recently apologized.
Iranians Rally to Support Resistance Group
Waving flags amid red, white and green balloons, about 300 Iranian exiles staged a campaign-style convention yesterday at DAR Constitution Hall. Their primary call was for the United States to drop an Iranian resistance group from its list of terrorist organizations.
Members of Congress, legal scholars and the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, Maryam Rajavi, outlined support for a peaceful revolution to create a democratic, secular republic in Iran. Rep. Bob Filner (D-Calif.) told the crowd that a peaceful revolution spurred by the people of Iran is one of the ways to create lasting peace in the Middle East. "Unless we deal with Iran, there will never be a solution in Iraq," he said.
Arundel Teachers Protest Impasse in Talks
Many Anne Arundel teachers wore black yesterday in a "Dark Day" work action, the first of several displays planned to convey their displeasure with an impasse in contract negotiations with the school board.