WASHINGTON — The battle over saving the site of an African-American burial ground in Bethesda, Maryland, continues as supporters rallied at a church across the street from the cemetery on Sunday.
“This is really a protest demonstration,” says Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, with the Macedonia Baptist Church.
The church on River Road was once part of a thriving community of freed slaves.
The rally is the latest event in an ongoing effort to stop a parking garage from being built over the burial site. Coleman-Adebayo said that in the 1950s, 90 percent of the cemetery had been turned into a parking lot.
“The county is definitely shutting us down,” said Coleman-Adebayo.
She said the rally was about sending a message to Montgomery County policy makers that church members and the community don’t want the burial site to be desecrated again.
In a statement, land owners of the area where the cemetery once stood say they have no plan to develop the property.