Hoodie Day for Trayvon Martin in Buffalo, N.Y.

WW photo: Beverly Hiestand

WW photo: Beverly Hiestand

The Buffalo, N.Y., National Hoodie Day march, led by African-American youth, proceeded down a major street in a predominantly African-American community on June 10.

As lines of cars crawled by and came to a stop many times, drivers in rush-hour traffic signaled support with horns, raised fists and shouts, and took pictures from car windows. People in stores came out to watch and show support. The shout-outs came from everyone, from young children to older adults, and showed how the experiences of Trayvon Martin and thousands of others brutalized by racism are felt deeply here.

Placards expressed demands, including justice for Trayvon and ending all racism, especially the targeting of youth, police brutality, mass incarceration, the New Jim Crow and all forms of oppression. These were clear calls for the rightful self-determination of oppressed communities.

Reaching out to members of oppressed communities and nationalities, the march chanted, “No justice, no peace, no racist police!” while heading toward a police station for a rally. The demands for justice were not just for Martin and the conviction of his killer, George Zimmerman, but for all oppressed youth and communities to be free from racist police terror and vigilante violence.

After leaving the police station, participants gathered in a nearby lot to discuss how they can strengthen their unity and organization to build a stronger fightback in this community.