Local/State

Crowds rally for Trayvon Martin in Center City

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A day after George Zimmerman's not guilty verdict, the rallies and the vigils for slain Florida 17-year-old Trayvon Martin increased with intensity in places like Center City's Love Park.

"As long as they see us standing up for it, making sure this won't happen again. If we don't do things like this, they might think that we think that it's okay," said Golan Perry.

Despite strong emotions, it's been a day of peaceful protests with Commissioner Charles Ramsey and his officers keeping watch over demonstrators who marched through the city.

Gatherers marched from City Hall to Independence Mall.

The march continued over to the federal courthouse in a response to the news that the Justice Department will review Martin's death.

Martin got into a struggle with Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, in a Sanford, Florida neighborhood. Zimmerman then shot the unarmed, hoodie wearing teen, claiming self defense.

Despite the heat, there were many people wearing hoodies in honor of Martin.

"This is a sign of resistance, this is a sign of me, this is a sign of love, this is a sign of you," said Rashaun Williams.

There are plenty of people who believe the verdict should be the end of this controversial case.

"It looked like Trayvon Martin became the aggressor and it seemed like self defense to me," said Scott Holtzman.

However there are others who want the discussion to continue and lead to action.

Jason Moody, of internet radio station OnTheCornerstone in North Philadelphia, organized last year's "Million Hoodie March" in Center City, a month after Martin's death.

"I don't want people to come together just because it's a tragedy because we have tragedies every day in our own city and in every city but there has to be some kind of resolve or resolution that comes from it," said Moody.

Mayor Michael Nutter also released a statement Sunday calling for calm and reflection saying we need to work toward a more just, safer and more caring America for our children regardless of skin color.

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Tags:
philadelphia, trayvon martin, protest, local/state, kenneth moton
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