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Jacksonville ‘Justice for Trayvon’ marchers demand State Attorney Angela Corey resign

By staff

Marching for justice in Jacksonville.

Jacksonville, FL – With their fists and their voices raised, more than 450 people took to the streets of downtown Jacksonville on July 20 to protest the acquittal of George Zimmerman and demand justice for Trayvon Martin.

Led by the New Jim Crow Movement and other allied organizations, the march distinctly linked the Zimmerman verdict with other injustices committed against African Americans in Jacksonville. Protesters at the front of the march held a banner bearing the names and images of Trayvon Martin, Marissa Alexander, Jordan Davis and others below the phrase, “We will not be erased.”

The protest came six days after the last rally in Jacksonville, which happened the day after the verdict was announced. By all counts, the number of protesters had grown in less than a week.

Noting the importance of the protest, Keith Mack, an activist in Jacksonville, said, “There has never been a thing like Justice for Trayvon in the Jacksonville area. It drew such a young crowd.” Mack continued, “I believe we needed that boost in social consciousness. It’s way overdue.”

Beginning in Hemming Plaza, the protesters marched to the office of State Attorney Angela Corey, who Florida Governor Rick Scott chose to prosecute Zimmerman. Because of Corey’s notorious reputation for harshly prosecuting African-American youth in Jacksonville – some as young as 13 years old – and her failure to secure a guilty verdict in the Zimmerman case, protesters demanded that she resign from office. The crowd chanted, “Hey hey, ho ho, Angela Corey’s got to go!” as they congregated outside her office building.

From there, protesters marched to the Duval County jail and demanded they release Marissa Alexander, a 31-year-old African American woman who got 25 years in prison for firing a warning shot in the air to fend off an abusive husband. With Alexander held in a jail cell just feet from the protest, the crowd enthusiastically chanted, “Set Marissa free!” and “No justice! No peace!” Activists around the country have seized on Alexander’s case as a clear contrast with the Zimmerman verdict, showing the racist application of laws in the U.S. legal system.

After singing several Civil Rights era songs outside the jail, protesters returned to Hemming Plaza to hear a stack of speakers. Members of the New Jim Crow Movement, University Timbuktu, the Coalition for Justice for Trayvon, Florida New Majority, Dream Defenders, the New Black Panther Party and several other groups spoke.

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