WASHINGTON, D.C. - Hundreds gathered outside the National Rifle Association headquarters in Fairfax on Friday morning for a 18-mile march to the Department of Justice.
The group, spearheaded by Women's March organizers met at 9 a.m. and started the "NRA 2 DOJ" march shortly after 11.
A group of NRA supporters also gathered outside of headquarters with signs arguing that the Women's March protestors cannot suppress the NRA's freedom of speech but continue with theirs.
The event says the march is in light of the NRA's failure to defend Philando Castile after the acquittal of the officer involved in his shooting death, as well as a recent NRA advertisement that they say "incites violence."
They are calling on the NRA to do the following:
1. Take down the recent irresponsible and dangerous advertisement videos from all social platforms immediately.
2. Issue an apology to the American people for the video that suggests armed violence against communities of color, progressives and anyone who does not agree with this Administration's policies.
3. Make a statement to defend Philando Castile's Second Amendment right to own a firearm and demand the Department of Justice indict the police officer who killed him for exercising his Second Amendment right and his privilege as a licensed concealed carry permit holder. This call is clearly in line with the mission and purpose of the NRA as an organization that purports to be the lobby and defender of the right to bear arms.
The Women’s March co-president, Tamika Mallory, wrote an open letter to the NRA asking them to remove and apologize for a recent advertisement, according to their Facebook page, but instead the NRA responded with a new video, "extending the false narrative that our movement is a violent threat to public safety."
The NRA released a new video with their statement about the march, featuring spokesperson Dana Loesch.
She urges Women's March organizers to stand up to the violence of the men behind their organization, including Louis Farrakhan.
"Plan a march to end his hate-filled propaganda," she says. "And I'll be there."
The march is scheduled to end at the Department of Justice at approximately midnight.
According to the Metropolitan Police Department, the march will likely shut down one lane, between 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. on the following route:
· Head northeast on the Francis Scott Key Bridge to M Street NW
· East on M Street NW to Pennsylvania Avenue NW
· Southeast on Pennsylvania Avenue NW to 17th Street NW
· South on 17th Street NW to Pennsylvania Avenue NW
· East on Pennsylvania Avenue NW to 15th Street NW
· South on 15th Street NW to Pennsylvania Avenue NW
· East on Pennsylvania Avenue NW to 950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW (where the group will rally and disburse)
On Saturday, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., the organizers of the event are scheduled to hold a rally at the Department of Justice, so drivers in the 800 and 900 blocks of Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, should expect delays.
Police are reminding all drivers to pay full attention and be mindful that there could be heavy pedestrian traffic in those areas.
Street closures and listed times are also subject to change.