MARCHERS TO CONVERGE ON LINCOLN MEMORIAL- Broken lines locate the assembly
area of the civil rights march at Washington, Aug. 28. Marchers will gather
near Washington Monument and parade down Constitution and Independence Avenues
to converge on the Lincoln Memorial. As many as 100,000 Negro and white enthusiasts
for civil rights are expected to participate.
Washington Will Be Symbol of U.S. Power To Marchers
WASHINGTON (AP)- The civil rights marchers may not see it all, but this is
a city nerved by power, lined with marble, vibrant with areas of beauty and
blighted by contrasting areas of squalor.
It is a city of great monuments and slums, of complex law and petty crime,
of history and lethargy.
To the 100,000 or more civil rights marchers expected here Wednesday, Washington
will be a symbol of national power, a capital where men and women petition for
redress of grievance.
They will gather at the base of the soaring Washington Monument, the center
of a vast complex of greenery and marble, a monument that looks east to the
Capital, north to the White House, west to the Lincoln Memorial and south to
the Jefferson Memorial and the Tidal Basin rimmed with cherry trees.
They will march a few blocks down huge avenues and across parklands to the
Lincoln Memorial, a temple in style of the Parthenon of ancient Greece.
These are the symbols of government and beauty and history that draw almost
5 million tourists to Washington each year. But Washington has other faces,
In the last decade, Washington has become the only major city in the nation
that has more Negroes than whites. During these years, 200,000 whites have rushed
into the nearly all-white suburbs of Virginia and Maryland. Their places have
been taken by Negro migrants from the South, many forced into slums.
A rise in crime has come at the same time. Although the crime has received
wide and often lurid publicity, it differs little from crime rates in other
big cities of America. Washington in ninth in size with a population of 764,000
but 13th in crime rate.
Some observers see signs of discontent among the city's Negroes and evidence
of rising tension between the races. Last Thanksgiving, a riot, bristling with
racial overtones, erupted at the high school championship football game. Negroes
say there is job discrimination in the city and housing discrimination in its
The people who live in Washington do not rule themselves and take care of their
own problems. They now have the right to vote for president but, since the 1870s,
they have not been allowed to elect their own officials.
The ultimate power lies in the hands of Congress- specifically in the committees
that handle District of Columbia money and problems. Most of these committees
are ruled by Southerners. Some residents say these congressmen have no sympathy
for a 57 per cent Negro city with integrated schools and restaurants and stores.
As they drive through the city, the demonstrators will see very little industry,
and it is industry that usually yields mass tax revenue for a city.
To make up for this, Congress appropriates a lump sum each year and hands it
to the city. The city always complains it is far less than the amount that would
flow in if federal property were taxable.
The marchers likely will find a hot and muggy city on Wednesday. That's usually
the way of the city in late August.
Like India's New Delhi and Brazil's Brasilia, Washington is a city created
as a capital, with no other reason for life. It does not have the vitality and
culture of Paris or London or Rome or even Mexico City.
Washington has had many episodes of demonstrators marching on the city and
pleading for special causes. None had been as large as Wednesday's march promises
to be. Some have ended in violence.