With protests and rallies cropping up all across the country, the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Florida teenager, has sparked something of a national movement.
From New York to Los Angeles, rallies are being held to both honour Martin as well as demand justice in the shooting. And it seems everyone, including the president, is weighing in on it.
Thursday night, Sanford, Florida was the site of a massive rally, which featured civil rights leaders Rev. Al Sharpton and NAACP president Benjamin Jealous.
“20-six days ago this young man, Trayvon Martin, did nothing criminal, did nothing unethical,” Sharpton told the more than thousand people in attendance. “He went to the store for his brother. He came back and lost his life. Trayvon could have been any one of our sons, he could have been any one of us. Trayvon represents a reckless disregard for our lives that we’ve seen for too long.”
Meanwhile, New Yorkers led the Million Hoodie March Wednesday, a reference to the historic Million Man March as well as the hoodie Martin was wearing the night he was killed.
Ralliers donned black hoodies and gathered in New York’s Union Square, where the issue of race and police treatment of minorities was brought to the forefront.
One white participant held up a sign that read:
“Never Arrested 4 ‘Looking Suspicious’ #Racial Injustice #White Privilege'”
While another black participant held one reading:
“I am a young black male who wears a hood, does that mean that I was to rob you??? No! I am a college student studying communications technology.”
Elsewhere, students were taking part in rallies as well. Howard University students held a rally in memory of Martin where participants carried bags of Skittles in reference to the fact that Martin had been carrying a bag of the candy when he was killed. And students at Michael Krop Senior High in Miami-Dade, the school where Martin attended during his freshman and sophomore years, staged a walkout.
Protests over gun control have also cropped up. In Orlando, activists urged state officials to review gun permit regulations, while some Florida lawmakers are looking to amend Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground Law,” which expands the right of citizens to claim self defence.
Already, more rallies are scheduled for today and for the weekend. And it appears that without more progress in the case, even more can be expected in the near future.
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