Justice For Trayvon, Rallies Across The Nation
GAINESVILLE - The verdict that has the nation and even the president talking. But people in North Central Florida aren't just talking the talk, they're also walking the walk. In addition to pushing the justice department to investigate civil rights charges against George Zimmerman, there is also a rollback of the stand-your-ground self-defense law from the community.
"Justice for Trayvon." The point protesters outside of Gainesville's Martin Luther King Center wanted to make. Markel Bannister a 12-year-old protester said, "I don't really feel safe. I mean the world is not really getting any safer." Protesters held signs and chanted in unison.
Jeremiah Tattersall a community activist said, "We're going to go over the Florida court system, like we did in the civil rights movement and call on the federal government to provide justice where the state government hasn't been able to."
"The people out here tell me they're giving up their nights sleeping at the capitol and protesting at rallies during the day in cities all across Florida all for justice."
Diana Moreno another Gainesville protester said, "This is not just a one day event this is a movement we are trying to build. To change America, to make it more equal for all of its children. And it shouldn't just be on our constitution, it shouldn't just be written on a piece of paper. We need to live the values that we say that we champion and that is why i believe this is the cause of my generation."
While the stand your ground law was not used as a defense in the Zimmerman trial. Some say it still played an important role in the case. State representative Clovis Watson Jr plans to present a bill to repeal the law, as he says it still promotes violence. "It gives you a level of power where you don't feel the need to retreat because you have the law on your side to take the life of someone who gives you that perception that they may take yours," Watson Jr. said.
The Ocala republican who sponsored the law, Dennis Baxley says that if he thought this statue created more violence, he'd be the first one to re-work it. "What we had was a case that could have been prevented and could of been presented in any court in the land and that was a simple self-defense case that he convinced the jury, that he was in a position that it was me or thee," Baxley said.
Gainesville wasn't the only city in North Central Florida to hold a rally, so did Ocala. Florida Governor Rick Scott issued a proclamation for a "statewide day of prayer for unity" on Sunday (June 21st, 2013). These are a list of events happening June 21st, 2013:
*The Pleasant Plain United Methodist Church (1910 NW 166 St. Newberry, FL) invites people to continue the conversation tomorrow at 11 a.m. where they will discuss what to do if you are racially profiled.
*People will gather wearing hoodies for Trayvon Martin, at 3p.m. in the University of Florida's Turlington Plaza.
- Gainesville Officials Are Prepared If Zimmerman Verdict Protests Happen
- Zimmerman Trial: Self-Defense & Stand Your Ground Law
- Zimmerman Trial: Self-Defense
- Zimmerman Trial: 911 Call & Language In Court
- Case of Race: George Zimmerman Trial
- Zimmerman Verdict: African American Reaction
- Zimmerman Trial: Judge Ruling on Other Zimmerman Phone Calls
- Zimmerman Trial: Day Seven
- Zimmerman Trial: Not Guilty (Video)
- Zimmerman Trial: Day Five