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Gainesville joins 100-city protest for Trayvon Martin

By staff |
July 22, 2013
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Organizers gather behind the banner waiting to be interviewed.
Organizers gather behind the banner waiting to be interviewed. (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Minister Eve MacMaster leads 50 community members and activities in prayer.
Minister Eve MacMaster leads 50 community members and activities in prayer.

Gainesville, FL – On July 20, 50 activists, faith leader, and community members held a noon vigil outside the Alachua County Courthouse. They gathered to demand the U.S. Department of Justice file charges against George Zimmerman for violating the civil rights of Trayvon Martin. The action was part of the #100citytrayvon initiative by the Reverend Al Sharpton.

Both young and old held signs reading "Justice for Trayvon" and "Praying for a New America.” People gathered together for a prayer and listened to a round of speeches from student organizers and community leaders. Lead organizer Eric Brown of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) said, “The issue in the tragedy with Trayvon, as with so many other Black men and women, is not ‘stand your ground’ but anti-Blackness that pervades our society at every level. It's a fact that Black men are seen automatically as fifth columns and enemy combatants in their own native country. Everyday simple actions, such as walking down the street at night with a hoodie, take on malice."

Chrisley Carpio, one of the organizers for the event said, "Zimmerman was not the only one on trial last Saturday. The American justice system was as well. It has clearly failed the test. It is our job to seek justice, as the people, when the system has so grossly failed us.” Other speeches reiterated that both the murder of Trayvon Martin and the not guilty verdict for George Zimmerman are part of a larger systemic problem.

The event ended with a call to action to continue building up resistance to racism in the state. Leaders called on people to remember the fight of others like Marissa Alexander, imprisoned for defending herself and her children, and Jordan Davis, slain by a white man upset by loud music. After the 100-city event, activists and community members attended a rally at the Martin Luther King center not far away.

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