The D.C. group that organized rallies late last year in the wake of the police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner is planning its first rally for Freddie Gray on Wednesday night.
DCFerguson, a coalition of liberal organizations, expects hundreds of people to attend the rally, which has been promoted on social media, in support of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who died of a spinal injury on April 19 while in police custody in Baltimore.
Protesters will meet at 7 p.m. at the Gallery Place Metro station and march to the White House, where organizers will deliver closing remarks.
“We wanted to come out and show our solidarity with folks who are protesting for Freddie Gray in Baltimore and continue to bring national attention to this, and not allow for this, like any incident, to be treated as isolated to one city,” said Eugene Puryear, a D.C. activist who is helping to organize the rally.
The protesters don’t have a permit for the event and likely will cause traffic back-ups. Puryear said the point, in part, is to “disrupt business as usual.”
Last year, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier noted that while the protests were largely peaceful and resulted in few arrests, they were “very, very expensive” and put a “big strain” on the department.
Puryear said this is the only event that’s planned so far. If the protests continue in Baltimore, he said the group might consider organizing buses of D.C.-area residents to go there.