Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan praises the protesters behind Black Lives Matter, as he addresses crowds at a “Justice or Else” rally in Washington, commemorating the Million Man March 20 years later.
WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES (OCTOBER 10, 2015) (NBC) – Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan, who led the first Million Man March 20 years ago, returned to the Mall on Saturday (October 10) to lead a “Justice or Else” rally in Washington.
“I’m honored to be here in front of this great great house that was built by black slaves,” said the outspoken Muslim leader from the podium on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.
Standing before thousands of cheering African-Americans, Farrakhan praised the protesters behind Black Lives Matter, calling them the next leaders of the civil rights movement.
“These are not just young people who happened to wake up one morning. Ferguson ignited it all,” said Farrakhan. “So all of the brothers and sisters from Ferguson, all the brothers and sisters that laid in the streets, all of the brothers and sisters that challenged the tanks, we are honored that you have come to represent our struggle and our demand.”
According to organizers of the “Justice or Else” rally, the goal was to incorporate calls for justice for the recent deadly shootings of mostly black men by police, with the anniversary of the original gathering of the Million Man March twenty years ago.
“It’s hypocritical for us to say that we are citizens and we are still trying to get civil rights while at the same time we are denied the human right of self determination,” said Farrakhan.
Farrakhan has repeatedly called for federal and state government intervention in police investigations, and for greater responsibility in the black community for the violence in the inner city.
The Million Man March is remembered by many as a watershed event, despite the fact that its impact on the African-American community remains ambiguous 20 years later.