Highlights From 'Justice For Trayvon' Rallies Held Across The Country
Heeding Rev. Al Sharpton's call for Justice Rallies in 100 cities to protest the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, federal buildings and state houses across the country were marched on by peaceful demonstrators demanding the repeal of Stand Your Ground laws. The sentiment across the state lines were similar, protestors the country over are hoping to turn, as one rally speaker said, this "Travyon Martin moment" into a "movement."
Atlanta: Large crowds stay through hard rains to protest Stand Your Ground Laws
live.ajc.com / Via Ernie Snuggs (left) / Phil Skinner Atlanta Journal Constitution
Even as the rain poured down on the large crowds gathered outside the Richard B. Russell Federal Building in Atlanta, protestors rallied and listened to speeches by Martin Luther King III and Bernice King.
Miami: "We've got your back, Tracy!"
Reuters (left) / @Richardlusc (top) / @EmilyMichot (bottom)
“I’d like the world to know that Trayvon was my son. He was a loved child. He did nothing wrong and we’re not going to let them persecute him the way that they have,” Tracy Martin, father of Trayvon Martin,
told the crowd of several hundred protestors gathered for the justice rally in Miami.
“I vowed to Trayvon, when he was lying in his casket, that I would use every ounce of energy in my body to seek justice for him. I will fight for Trayvon until the day I die. Not only will I fight for Trayvon, I will fight for your child as well."
Members of the emotional
crowd shouted in support, "We got your back, Tracy!"
New Orleans: "Trayvon Martin was a boy. He was our boy." -Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League
Gerald Herbert / AP / Via
In New Orleans the justice rally focused on gun violence and racial profiling. According to the
Times-Picayune , in 2011 93% of youths detained for breaking the curfew law were African American. In 2012, the leading cause of death among African American men living in New Orleans between the ages of 16 and 20 was murder. "We should not call ourselves the 'Big Easy,'" said Yvette Thierry, the executive director of Safe Streets/Strong Communities, "We should call ourselves the 'Big Hard.'"
New York: Jay-Z and Beyonce join Trayvon's Mother
Earlier in the day, Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon's mother, spoke to the crowd gathered outside of National Action Network's West 145th Street headquarters in Harlem. Per the
New York Daily News:
"We are trying to get justice, not get something off our chests ... We are trying to change laws so that this never, ever happens again." Fulton said. "We have moved on from the verdict...Of course, we're hurting. Of course we're shocked and disappointed. But that just means we have to roll up our sleeves and fight." She added, "Today it was my son. Tomorrow it might be yours."
Fulton was joined by Jay-Z and Beyonce at a rally held Federal offices building at 1 St. Andrews Place in Lower Manhattan. Demonstrators
reportedly shouted their thanks to the power couple and "No concerts in Florida!"
South Carolina: Lawmaker Addressed Crowd of over 5,000 with his Hoodie Up
Via Jeff Blake - The State (top) / @JStylesWLTX
Rep. James Clyburn
told the crowd gathered at the steps of the statehouse in Colombia, that he and his collegues in the congress are looking into Stand Your Ground laws could be "dealt with in such a way to prevent this kind of the thing from happening. And we hope that we can.” By the afternoon, the crowd in Colombia swelled to 7,500 partcipants, according to The State.
Washington D.C.: "We have come to stand our ground!"
Win McNamee / Getty Images / Via
"The purpose of being here today is to make sure Trayvon Martin is not a moment, but a movement,"Joe Madison, a radio host based in Washington,
told the 500 person crowd gathered in the nation's capitol.
Demonstrators were led in a chant of: "We have come to stand our ground! We have come to stand our ground!"