Tampa, FL – On February 28, the Tampa Bay chapter of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) held a Black Lives Matter rally at the University of South Florida for the seventh anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s death. In 2012, Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, after returning from a nearby gas station. The trial of Zimmerman became a national phenomenon with him walking free due to Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ law. The shooting is still fresh on Florida’s mind, with many questioning the judicial system that let a man off with murder.
Dallas, TX – On February 25, the North Texas Action Committee held a vigil for Trayvon Martin in downtown Dallas. Several speakers discussed the lasting impact of the Martin case as well as other murders of African Americans, nationally and in the Dallas area. “We can't let their stories disappear. We have to continue to say their names,” said NTAC president Syd Loving.
Jacksonville, FL – Members of the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition and other community organizations are mobilizing for protests against Florida State Attorney Angela Corey later in February. Corey is responsible for incarcerating more Black youth than any other state attorney in Florida and for failing to serve justice in several high-profile cases. Corey's record includes failing to convict George Zimmerman in the murder of Trayvon Martin, and locking up Marissa Alexander for defending herself against her violent estranged husband. In 2015, Corey also failed to deliver justice in the case of D'angelo Stallworth, a UPS employee murdered by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (JSO).
Grand Rapids, MI – More than 1000 students and community members marched in the streets here and at the nearby Grand Valley State University (GVSU) to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 19. Thousands then filled college field houses to hear Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin. Martin was the African American teenager murdered by vigilante George Zimmerman. Zimmerman was allowed to walk free from a Florida court.
On Aug. 9, Michael Brown was murdered by the police in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. The African-American youth was only 18 years old. He was unarmed and committed no crime, yet was brutally shot by the police after they stopped and harassed him while he walked to his grandmother's house. Michael had a bright future ahead of him, as he was set to start classes at Vatterott College just a few days later. His family was proud of their son.
Milwaukee, WI – Dozens of students at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee rallied on campus to protest racial injustice and racial profiling, February 26, the second anniversary of the murder of Trayvon Martin.
Newark, NJ – The People’s Organization for Progress held a march here, Feb. 26, to commemorate the second anniversary of the murder of Trayvon Martin. Martin was murdered in Sanford, Florida. The state of Florida refused to convict his killer, George Zimmerman.
Jacksonville, FL – The steps of the Duval County Courthouse were filled with protesters and community members on Saturday, February 15. They waited to hear the verdict in the trial to convict Michael Dunn for murdering Jordan Davis. Groups ranging from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, to the New Black Panther Party (NBPP), to the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition (JPC) held up signs, gave speeches, demanded justice, and marched around the courthouse. The day of protest began with a 9:00 am press conference and lasted long into the evening. So many people showed up throughout the day, it was hard to find a spot to sit or stand on the giant steps leading to the courthouse.
Jacksonville, FL – About 15 protesters assembled outside of the Duval County Courthouse, Feb. 6, as jurors heard opening statements in the first degree murder trial of Michael Dunn, the racist killer of 17-year-old African American youth Jordan Davis. Members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition and the New Jim Crow Movement held signs and spoke to people at the courthouse to demand “Justice for Jordan Davis.”