Wake County

Protesters gather for NAACP-led HKonJ rally at Capitol in Raleigh

Raw Video: Thousands gather at HKonJ march in Raleigh

Thousands gather in front of the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium to hear speeches from prominent, local religious leaders before beginning the 11th annual HKonJ march on Saturday Feb. 11, 2017 in Raleigh, NC.
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Thousands gather in front of the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium to hear speeches from prominent, local religious leaders before beginning the 11th annual HKonJ march on Saturday Feb. 11, 2017 in Raleigh, NC.

Protesters are beginning to assemble near Wilmington and South streets near Shaw University for a rally and march that could be one of the biggest ever in the event’s history.

The Moral March on Raleigh and HKonJ People’s Assembly is holding its 11th annual event that will lead marchers down Wilmington and Fayetteville streets to a rally near the State Capitol.

Officials are encouraging motorists to avoid downtown because many streets will be closed.

Video: Thousands descend on downtown Raleigh for the annual HKonJ march on Saturday, February 11, 2017.

Until 3 p.m., Fayetteville will be closed to traffic between Morgan and Davie streets. South Street between Salisbury and Wilmington streets and Hargett Street between Salisbury and Wilmington will also be closed until 3 p.m.

The day’s agenda will include expressing support for the Affordable Care Act amid Republican efforts to repeal the health care law known as Obamacare, as well as opposition to President Donald Trump’s plans to build a wall along the border with Mexico and his executive order on immigration, which state NAACP president William Barber has criticized as “nothing more than a Muslim ban.”

Barber is expected to speak to the crowd at noon.

The NAACP is being joined by about 200 advocacy groups representing a range of causes.

Check out The News & Observer’s Facebook page throughout the day for updates and live coverage.

VIDEO: An estimated 5,000 marchers participated Saturday, February 13, 2016 in the 10th annual Historic Thousands on Jones Street protest march and rally in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina braving the freezing temperatures and wind chill to show

The Moral March on Raleigh and HKonJ People's Assembly gathered in downtown Raleigh, N.C. on Saturday, February 14, 2015. Led by the North Carolina NAACP, thousands came out to march down Fayetteville Street and make their voice hear, and show sup

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