The application — which describes plans for 1,000 buses, a line of jumbotrons and a mass procession from the Lincoln Memorial to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial — was submitted on Friday, the day after Sharpton announced plans for the march.
“In one era, we had to fight slavery,” Sharpton, president of the National Action Network, has said. “Another era we had to fight Jim Crow, another era we dealt with voting rights. This is the era to deal with policing and criminal justice. We need to go back to Washington and stand up — black, white, Latino, Arab — in the shadows of Lincoln and tell them this is the time to stop this.”
Floyd’s family members will lead the march, Sharpton has said.
Earlier this week, the family laid Floyd to rest and celebrated his life at a funeral in Houston. On Wednesday, his younger brother, Philonise Floyd, pleaded with members of Congress to enact policing reforms to ensure that his brother would be “more than another name on a list that won’t stop growing.”
It was not immediately clear whether the Park Service would grant a permit for the mass gathering on the Mall.
The department has suspended its issuance of protest permits in response to guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic that recommended gatherings of more than 10 people be banned. All permits and applications through June 22 have been canceled by the department, spokesman Mike Litterst said.
The pandemic, still raging in the United States and around the world, is not expected to dissipate before August.
But on Aug. 28, organizers expect marchers to walk down the sides of the reflecting pool and gather at the Lincoln Memorial, according to the application. They will continue south to Independence Avenue and march to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the application states.
The permit application also calls for the closures of several main roads to accommodate the march and related events.
While Sharpton and Floyd’s family prepare for the massive march later this summer, the area outside of the White House has begun slowly shedding signs of protests that have stretched nearly two weeks.
On Wednesday morning, dozens of D.C. natives and tourists from across the country gathered at the city’s newly named Black Lives Matter Plaza to catch a glimpse of the area before the temporary security fence surrounding the White House came down and signs of protest withered away. Crews began removing some of the barriers during the day, Lafayette Square reopened early Thursday.
Tyree Jackson, 18, of Charles County, Md., came dressed in a blue cap and gown to celebrate his high school graduation.
Susi Atkinson, 71, sat on a street curb across staring at the fence, one hand gloved and the other wiping tears that streamed down her face and pooled just above her face mask.
“This place has become a sanctuary for me,” she said. “A place to pray and think and remember and grieve.”
Last week, she had seen one of the first signs taped to the fence, which listed the names of lives lost to police violence. She came back on Saturday to see a young girl in her mother’s arms, fastening a “Black Lives Matter” sign to the fence.
On Wednesday morning, Atkinson stared through the black wire — now adorned with tape and wilted flowers — to the White House, silently.
Mia Anderson, 20, stood a few feet over, staring at the boarded-up St. John’s Episcopal Church. Having traveled from Atlanta to move out of her dorm at Howard University, she made sure to come to the District early enough to see the still-shuttered buildings in downtown.
“I wanted to make sure that I saw the symbol of resistance that the looting is, which is necessary for the movement,” she said. “I wanted to make sure I saw the world waking up.”
Anderson took a knee before the billowing Black Lives Matter sign that hung on the fence, head raised toward the sky and fist in the air. She then stood up, dusted off her legs and walked off in search of a mask that says “Black Lives Matter.” She wanted to wear one to her friends’ houses, to grocery stores and to post offices as a reminder that the fight for racial justice soldiers on.
Anderson plans to come back to the District in August to march alongside the family of George Floyd.
“I will be there, definitely, to be part of that moment,” she said.
Late Wednesday, some demonstrators were at Lafayette Square when two gates were reopened at the park.
Heavy rains chased away groups of protesters that had remained outside the area. But a small group was nearby to hear a Secret Service officer say, “The park is open, folks.”
After that, a few people walked into Lafayette just after midnight.
Clarence Williams contributed to this report.