Thousands vow “no justice, no peace” at Sanford rally

trayvon martin march sanford

SANFORD, Fla. - "No justice! No peace!" for Trayvon Martin was the rallying cry heard not just here but around the world, March 31. A diverse crowd of thousands came out to a march and rally organized by the Florida NAACP. The march ended at the Sanford Police station.

Martin, a 17-year-old African American male, was gunned down by self-appointed neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in late February. Zimmerman stalked Martin for "looking suspicious," and claims self-defense under Florida's right-wing Stand Your Ground law. Zimmerman has yet to be criminally charged for killing Martin. 

The support for Martin was overwhelming. The Reverend Al Sharpton spoke on behalf of the Martin family and pledged, "to stay as long as the family asks him to stay." Sharpton spoke passionately, evoking strong emotions from the crowd. Sharpton said protestors in London marched on the American consulate wearing "hoodies" to show their support for the Martin family and demand justice.

Sadness for the Martin family and outrage that Zimmerman has still not been charged permeated the peaceful crowd. Zimmerman's lack of punishment is an example of racism, many said.

Sharpton called it "the American paradox" - the contradiction of racial progress in the United States. "Barack Obama, an African American, can be elected president but yet a young African American boy can be murdered and no punishment is dealt to the killer," Sharpton said.

Rally speakers emphasized that the Stand Your Ground law was the main culprit in the death of Martin and subsequent impunity of his killer.

The National Rifle Association, the powerful lobby group of arm manufacturers and dealers, pushed the law, which allows the use lethal force to defend yourself if you "feel" that your life is threatened. Calls for the repeal of the Stand Your Ground law were made, including a boycott of weapons manufacturers to protest the law.

Martin's murder has enraged millions of all backgrounds and races, leading many to call this the beginning of a new civil rights movement. More than 2 million signatures calling for the arrest and prosecution of Zimmerman have been collected. Rallies for Trayvon have taken place across the country.

One slogan that caught the crowd passionately came from a man with a megaphone who compared Martin to Jesus, saying "He died for us! Just like Jesus," seeing his murder as a "wake-up call." Numerous killings of unarmed young Black men, mostly by police officers, continue to plague the country.

Photo: AP

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  • There is much that we, the public, do not know.

    Vilifying Zimmerman is not the answer. Nor is treating Martin like a choir boy.

    Let the new investigation run its course.

    Posted by Ronald Humphrey, 04/09/2012 9:05am (3 years ago)

  • #1 reason guns are not necessary; they create nothing good

    Posted by ---.-, 04/05/2012 3:37pm (4 years ago)

  • To get a feel of what went on the night Trayvon Martin was killed, you need to listen to the 911 call made by a neighbor. The fatal shot is heard in the background.
    Just listen to it.
    You need no experts.
    You need not know anything about this case.
    You don't even need an open mind.
    But you need to listen to that heart-wrenching call.
    Then draw your own conclusions.
    Here it is:

    Posted by kafantaris, 04/05/2012 8:53am (4 years ago)

  • For anyone that is interested….
    I am an audio guy..

    I took the 911 call with the most audio informatiion regarding screams, compressed it, ran it at half speed and pitch corected it 100 percent.. even though it runs slower (just a tenth over half speed) anyone with an ear for music can tell not a note has been changed.. Digital affords you this luxury. In the analog days we had to physically slow the tape/medium down and you lose pitch and clarity.

    Anyway, what I find most interesting is the ghastly scream at about 1:12 right after the final shot.\.

    THIS AUDIO IS NOT ENHANCED per sey.. not like enhancing a photo.. the only enhancing has been to adust volume levels so you don’t hurt your ear listening to everything at relative volume levels.

    There are a few swirling artifacts in this copy because I had to compres the wav file to a 128 kbps mp3 to fit on my page so you had a player to hear it on.. These artifacts are slight and will not distract.

    The 911 call as you have never heard it before, draw your own conclusions. Listen for the scream after the shot.

    This exercise is just a way to access the call and hear things you would not of just listening to the raw recording.

    Posted by 333maxwell, 04/04/2012 9:48pm (4 years ago)

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