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In response to murder of Trayvon Martin

Angry thousands take to the streets

Published Mar 22, 2012 2:48 AM

WW photos: Monica Moorehead

March 21 — Thousands of outraged people from all walks of life gathered at Union Square in New York City tonight to protest the brutal murder of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African American, on Feb. 26. Martin was shot to death by a racist vigilante, George Zimmerman, in a gated community in Sanford, Fla., near Orlando. Zimmerman stalked Martin, claiming that he looked “suspicious” because he was wearing a hoodie.

On 911 tapes, Martin can be heard crying and begging for his life before his voice was silenced forever by a gunshot to the chest. Zimmerman can be heard on the recording calling Martin, a “f-cking c—n.” Zimmerman was questioned after the shooting for an hour and then released by the Sanford police. He was never arrested. The Sanford police department has a notorious history of no arrests for any assaults on Black men.

Online petitions, demanding Zimmerman’s arrest, have gathered almost a million signatures. The growing mass anger over the lynching of Martin forced the state attorney in Seminole County to announce that a grand jury will make a ruling on April 10. Also the U.S. Justice Department announced late March 20 that it will hold an investigation of the killing.

The Union Square demonstration is one of many called today and in the coming week around the country to demand justice for Trayvon Martin. Most of the youthful crowd of Black and white people wore hoodies in honor of Martin.

Among those who spoke before the march were Martin’s parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton. Fulton told the hushed crowd that “our son is your son” and “This is not a Black and white thing. This is a right and wrong thing.”

Martin stated that they would not rest until their son gets justice, starting with Zimmerman’s arrest.

The marchers then spilled out into the streets, despite the New York cops’ attempt to keep them on the sidewalk. At one point, all of Sixth Avenue was filled for several blocks from 14th Street heading uptown.

The crowd chanted: “We are Trayvon Martin,” “No justice, no peace, f-ck the police.” A big part of the demonstration ended up near the Brooklyn Bridge, while others went to Times Square and then back to Union Square.