In a speech that criticized the American state of race relations, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan told a multi-faith gathering he plans to hold a Millions for Justice march in the nation's capital this fall, 20 years after the Million Man March.
During the address at Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Washington on Wednesday, Farrakhan said he intends to hold the rally Oct. 10 on the National Mall, scene of the 1995 march.
"This is the time our people must see our unity," Farrakhan said. "Let's make 10/10/15 a meeting place for those who want justice, for those who know what justice is."
Organizers said they aim to stage a more diverse and inclusive event than the one in 1995, which was aimed at encouraging black men to make firmer commitments to family values and community uplift. It was among the largest political gatherings in American history.
“So we're bringing together everybody who will fight for justice, there are many of various ethnicities Latinos and even as you've seen protesting and demonstrations some of our Caucasian brothers and sisters, Asian brothers and sisters who've been out there in the streets with us,” said Rev. Bill Lamar, pastor of Metropolitan AME Church.
Farrakhan, 82, also used the march announcement to call for fair treatment and an end to injustice in the wake of the massacre of nine people at the Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, last week. Farrakhan said the rally is intended to galvanize a more strategic movement for equality as supporters unite under the social media hashtag JusticeOrElse.
"Yes, all lives matter, but the only reason you're here is because black lives are being slaughtered," Farrakhan said.
— Mosheh Gains contributed