Mass Demonstrations

August 14, 1963

Report Outline
Coming Civil Rights March in Capital
Negro Demonstrations for Equal Rights
Historic Rights of Petition and Assembly
Non-Violent Techniques in Mass Protests

Coming Civil Rights March in Capital

Plans for Huge Demonstration in Washington

A Mass Demonstration in which as many as 150,000 Negro and white marchers may take part, in Washington on August 28, will climax five months of nationwide protest against racial discrimination. The object of the demonstration is to direct attention to Negro grievances, particularly the insufficiency of employment opportunities, and to impress upon Congress the importance of passing President Kennedy's omnibus civil rights bill.

As proposed last May 4 by A. Philip Randolph, president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the demonstration was to point up the “outrage of joblessness among Negroes.” Presently that purpose was broadened. The Rev. George Lawrence, northeast regional representative of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said on June 12 that Negroes would stage a “massive, militant and monumental sit-in” in the nation's capital to obtain “full, total and equal rights for the Negro now.” There was talk of demonstrations on the Capitol grounds and of sit-ins in House and Senate galleries and in the offices of members of Congress.

In his civil rights message to Congress, June 19, President Kennedy cautioned against “demonstrations which can lead to violence.” The President asserted that “Unruly tactics or pressures will not help and may hinder the effective consideration” of the administration's civil rights bill. Therefore, he urged “all community leaders, Negro and white, to do their utmost to lessen tensions and to exercise self-restraint” so that Congress might have an “opportunity to freely work its will.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Protest Movements and Counter Culture
Jun. 05, 2020  Corporate Activism
May 01, 2020  Global Protest Movements
Jan. 05, 2018  Citizen Protests
Aug. 28, 1998  Student Activism
Jan. 04, 1991  The Growing Influence of Boycotts
Aug. 22, 1986  Student Politics 1980s Style
May 13, 1983  Christian Peace Movement
Apr. 08, 1970  Politics and Youth
Nov. 19, 1969  Challenges for The 1970s
Aug. 21, 1968  Reorganization of the Universities
Jan. 10, 1968  Universities and the Government
Jan. 03, 1968  Peace Movements in American Politics
Oct. 12, 1966  Alienated Youth
Feb. 24, 1966  Protest Movements in Time of War
May 19, 1965  Campus Unrest
Aug. 14, 1963  Mass Demonstrations
Dec. 11, 1957  Student Movements
Aug. 17, 1939  Conscientious Objection to War
Civil Rights Movement
Civil Rights: African Americans
Protest Movements