(AA) – Protesters shutdown the U.S. capital downtown Wednesday night as thousands marched to the White House chanting slogans for Freddie Gray, an African-American man who recently died in Baltimore police custody.
The group, mainly comprising youth from different ethnic backgrounds, first gathered at China Town, and walked down to the White House.
The Black Muslim Community in the U.S., famously known as the Nation of Islam led the group, along with Ferguson D.C. movement.
Protesters made sure that participants were safe and the march remained peaceful.
Police stayed away from the protesters and only made sure the traffic in the city kept moving.
Meanwhile, only an hour away from Washington, in Baltimore, hundreds of people were arrested since Monday as local authorities there declared a state of emergency and announced a curfew for Tuesday from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
The protesters in Washington showed solidarity with Baltimore protesters, chanting “they say get back, we say fight back.”
After nearly more than two hours of marching, protesters stopped in front of the White House, where they continued chanting “Black Lives Matter” and “Baltimore to D.C., we will not stop until we are free.”
President Barack Obama lashed out the protesters in Baltimore and described them as a distraction from the scores of protesters who took to city streets.
“Media is showing us as criminals,” said one of the protesters, speaking to the crowd, “they are focusing on broken windows, instead of broken bones,” he added.
Mainstream media in the U.S. focused mostly on the rioting, which broke out after the funeral of Freddie Gray Monday.