Saturday saw big rallies across America in several cities to honour the memory of Trayvon Martin.
However the African-American community and sympathisers failed to mobilise in the numbers expected. Jay Z and Beyonce added star power to the New York rally; Trayvon’s mother was in attendance to thank people for coming.
Also present was one of the most outspoken public voices in the affair, the veteran campaigner Al Sharpton.
“We are going to deal with this ‘Stand Your
Ground‘ law. There should not be a law that means that if you think you are under threat, you got the right to kill somebody. That law hurts blacks, whites, Latinos, Asians. This ain’t just a back thing, this is a human thing,” he thundered.
In Los Angeles, where the Rodney King riots scarred a community two decades ago, few expressed surprise. The threat is daily, so their struggle to change things has to be daily, too. Most expressed determination they would not quit.
“We have to be present, we have to be mindful, and we have to take action, positive, absolutely non-violent action to bring about a world that works for everybody that honors everybody,” said one man.
“So if we keep marching and keep doing the rallies and speaking our opinion, and voicing our opinion, I believe that they will hear us, especially on this case here, so we can’t give up,” was a woman’s opinion.
In his hometown of Miami Trayvon’s father was just one of hundreds who gathered to call for justice. In all thousands gathered in around 100 cities, and many are hoping an argument has been ignited that will lead to the repeal of the controversial “stand your ground” law allowing lethal use of force.