Across US, People Rally for ‘Justice for Trayvon’

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  • ATLANTA (AP) — Crowds chanted “Justice! Justice!” as people rallied in dozens of U.S. cities, urging authorities to press federal civil rights charges against a former neighborhood watch leader found not guilty in the shooting death of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin.

    The Rev. Al Sharpton‘s National Action Network organized the “Justice for Trayvon” rallies and vigils outside federal buildings Saturday in at least 101 cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and other locations.

    One week after a jury found George Zimmerman not guilty in the 2012 shooting death of Martin in a gated central Florida community, people gathered nationwide Saturday to press for federal civil rights charges against Zimmerman. They also called for changes in the nation’s self-defense laws.

    “No justice! No peace!” some chanted. Many also sang hymns, prayed and held hands.

    The Florida case has become a flashpoint in separate but converging national debates over self-defense, guns, and race relations. Zimmerman, who successfully claimed that he was protecting himself when he shot Martin, identifies himself as Hispanic. Martin was black.

    In Atlanta, speakers noted that the rally there took place in the shadows of federal buildings named for two figures who had vastly differing views on civil rights and racial equality: Richard B. Russell was a Georgia governor and U.S. senator elected in the Jim Crow South; The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is the face of African-Americans’ civil rights movement.

    “What’s so frightening about a black man in a hood?” said the Rev. Raphael Warnock, who now occupies the pulpit at King’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, at the Atlanta rally.

    In New York, hundreds of people — including Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, and music superstars Jay-Z and Beyonce — gathered in the heat.

    Fulton told the crowd she was determined to fight for changes needed to ensure that black youths are no longer viewed with suspicion because of their skin color.

    “I promise you I’m going to work for your children as well,” she told the crowd.

    Earlier Saturday, at Sharpton’s headquarters in Harlem, she implored people to understand that the tragedy involved more than Martin alone. “Today it was my son. Tomorrow it might be yours,” she said.

    In addition to pushing the Justice Department to investigate civil rights charges against Zimmerman, Sharpton told supporters In New York that he wants to see a rollback of “stand your ground” self-defense laws.

    “We are trying to change laws so that this never, ever happens again,” Sharpton said.

    “Stand your ground” laws are on the books in more than 20 states, and they go beyond many older, traditional self-defense statutes. In general, the newer laws eliminate a person’s duty to retreat, if possible, in the face of a serious physical threat.

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    5 thoughts on “Across US, People Rally for ‘Justice for Trayvon’

    1. August 12,2013

      Please, Please Help us! In the February 14,2013 Wayne County Newspaper,( Front Page) It tells of the school violations and bullying and harassment my children have suffered in the WCSD,Mississippi. But, it did not mention that the latest of those threats were from the school KKK note. Now, this same girl where two knifes were found on her is back at school and sitting behind my child on their bus.
      This is not the first racial discrimination . My kids have a right to a safe school environment.
      The WCSD said they would handle it and they would prosecute and she would not be back on that campus. They would not tell me one court date no notification, just it’s been handled. 911 did not even send an officer at my request the day of.
      The children are shocked and scared. I beg for justice. I do not know why help for justice is so hard. They are not going back to school until they are represented. This is sad that anyone would think we are okay with this.

    2. No one ever supported the LGBT in this way. What a shame. Blacks should know how it feels to be killed for something that you can’t help. I feel bad for Trayvon but it is time for these protesters to ban together in support of equallity in marriage. There is no reason why gays have to be oppreseed even today.

      • All-about-LOVE, you should feel no sorrow for Trayvon Martin who was high on dope when he attacked George Zimmerman because he had a choice not to smash Mr. Zimmerman’s head into the cement walkway, but was too high to make the right choice, and Mr. Zimmerman corrected Trayvon’s poor choice, thank God!

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