Thousands of people have traveled to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. for the "Justice or Else" rally, put together by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Just days ago, the group made headlines after the U.S. Capitol Police sent out an unauthorized newsletter stating that the rally could spark violence. Since then, all has been forgiven, with the U.S. Capitol Police issuing an apology to NOI.
"We are very pleased today. We accept the apology," said NOI chief of staff Leonard Muhammad, during a news conference on the steps of the Capitol on Friday. "Hundreds of thousands are coming to Washington, D.C.."
According to the Washington Post, representatives for Farrakhan said that they met for more than six hours with Capitol Police Chief Kim C. Dine, who apologized for the newsletter's message. In a joint statement released by the NOI, Dine said, "The USCP prides itself on protecting the rights of people to peaceably assemble under the First Amendment. The newsletter that was released by the Protective Service Bureau Division of the Intelligence and Information Analysis was rescinded as it was not authorized, reviewed or approved by the Chief of Police."
Clarifying further, Muhammad said that the group was instructed not to bring any weapons or alcohol to the event. "We also have been instructed not to bring large containers so it will not impede our search procedures that will be happening on the Mall," he said. "We really want a peaceful event as we have had in the past and based on our discussions that we had with the chief of the Capitol Police, this will happen once again."
African-American men from across the country assembled at the National Mall 20 years ago, fully congregating the grounds from the Capitol all the way to the Washington Momument. "It was done then and it can be done again and it should be done again," said Kadir Muhammad, leader of Muhammad's Mosque no. 4.
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