Organizers of the March to Defeat the Mandates wish to express complete support for the legacy and commitment to nonviolent, peaceful protest that Martin Luther King Jr. embodied. Dr. King’s legacy of unity and peace is the essence by which our March was founded. We condemn all organizations and individuals who would use the March as an opportunity to further their own agendas of extremism, intolerance, and violence.
Unfortunately, far too often, opponents to change engage in disinformation campaigns that attempt to turn fiction into reality. For example, on January 11, owners of the Instagram account “Intheweeds_dmv” published a slanderous post that claimed participants intended to “enter hospitality venues to challenge DC’s vaccine mandate.” WAMU, the local NPR affiliate in Washington, then reported it, despite the account’s lack of any substantiation.
A false narrative was then created, leading listeners and readers to believe that the March to Defeat the Mandates was created in response to Mayor Bowser’s Washington DC Mandate when in reality, organizers for the March applied for permits in November before the mayor’s Mandate was ever made public. In fact, one could argue that the mayor’s mandate was in response to our announcement of the March to Defeat the Mandates.
We have contracted out comprehensive private security who are working in concert with local and federal law enforcement in keeping the March peaceful and in the spirit of Dr. King. Considering recently raised concerns, we have increased our already comprehensive security measures. Participants in the March are asked to please report any suspicious or threatening activity to law enforcement which will be on hand at the March.
We do not welcome extremist groups on any side that condone racism or bring violence of any kind to the thousands of Americans that will be marching peacefully. We encourage the unity of all people regardless of race, religious background, sexual orientation, or political party behind our mission.
United we stand, in peace we march.