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After eight days of protests in the District of Columbia over the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, officials are preparing for the week’s biggest demonstration in Washington.

Tens of thousands of protesters are expected in the nation’s capital on Saturday in an all-out rebuke of aggressive police tactics, racism and the Trump administration’s militant approach to the days of unrest that have gripped cities from the District to Los Angeles and hundreds between.

Starting at 6 am on Saturday, police will close much of downtown to vehicle traffic, creating a pedestrian-only demonstration zone.

A fortified perimeter around the White House, including a tall black fence that was erected late this week after days of volatile confrontations between police and demonstrators, will remain, George Floyd:

Unlike many other large-scale demonstrations that the District hosts, no one person or organisation is leading Saturday’s events.

For the past eight days, the protests have ebbed and flowed with the energy of the day. Demonstrators march from memorials to the White House and back again.

Even Black Lives Matter DC has repeatedly announced this week that it is not behind all the grass-roots activism that has taken hold and flooded the city with protesters. Online, people from around the Washington region and neighbouring states announced their intention to join and encouraged others to do the same.

District police chief Peter Newsham said no arrests have been made during protests since Tuesday. He said he hoped that that streak would continue as he expected on Saturday to see the largest crowd since protests began in the city on 29 May.

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