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Across US, Thousands Protest Zimmerman Verdict

At Washington Rally, Calls for Civil Rights Chargesi
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July 20, 2013 11:16 PM
Civil rights leaders rallied in more than 100 U.S. cities Saturday, one week after a Florida jury acquitted former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in the death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. Jeff Swicord has more from Washington.
VIDEO | In the nation's capital, activists rally in front of the federal courthouse where they demand civil rights charges be brought against Zimmerman, along with changes to self-defense laws.
VOA News
Thousands of people in the United States have joined nationwide rallies to demand federal action in support of civil rights, one week after a Florida jury acquitted a Hispanic neighborhood watchman in the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager.
 
The National Action Network, led by American civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton, organized Saturday's vigils in honor of the teenager, Trayvon Martin, outside government buildings in more than 100 cities around the country.
 
They were the latest in a series of national protests against the July 13 acquittal of the former neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, who was found not guilty of second degree murder and manslaughter in the February 2012 incident in which he fatally shot Martin in the chest during an altercation. The jury accepted Zimmerman's claim that he was acting in self-defense.
 
The verdict angered many Americans who believe Martin's killing was racially motivated. Race was not discussed in court during the trial.
 
Saturday's main rally was in New York City, where hundreds of people gathered to see Martin's mother Sybrina Fulton, Sharpton and pop superstar couple Beyonce and Jay-Z. Addressing the crowd, Fulton said "today it was my son, tomorrow it might be yours." She also vowed to fight for change in the country to ensure that her son's death is not in vain, saying "I am going to work for your children as well."
 
Fulton's former husband Tracy Martin also led a rally of hundreds of people in Miami, Florida.
 
Sharpton is pressing the U.S. Department of Justice to launch a civil right prosecution of Zimmerman on suspicion of targeting Martin because of the teenager's race. Some legal experts say it would be difficult for federal prosecutors to prove the allegation. 
 
President Barack Obama paid tribute to Martin in a surprise appearance before White House reporters on Friday, saying the teenager "could have been my son ... could have been me 35 years ago."
 
The nation's first black president urged people to see the Martin case from the perspective of African-Americans, saying he and others have experienced society perceiving them as threatening because of their race.
 
Obama also said he is looking into ways to examine state and local laws to see if they encourage confrontations like the one in Florida.
 
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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Comments
     
by: SAS from: Alabama
July 22, 2013 12:36 PM
Justice for Trayvon !

In Response

by: Pvblivs
July 24, 2013 12:14 PM
Mr. Martin got justice. He tried to bash someone's skull in. That someone was able to defend himself. What is with these people that insist Zimmerman had no right to protect his own life?


by: William from: Long Island, NY
July 22, 2013 11:15 AM
All blacks should be out protesting black on black crimes. Blacks are 13% of the US population yet 50% of people murdered are black. Each year, roughly 7,000 blacks are murdered and 94 percent of the time the murderer is another black person.

Where is the outrage in the black community regarding this slaughter being perpetrated on blacks? Are blacks so used to seeing other blacks killed by blacks that they don't care about it? But let one Hispanic kill a black man (and be found not guilty of murder do to a jury declaring that it was self defense) and the outrage pours forth in the form of protests and looting. The Black community needs to get a grip on it and start cleaning out their own house.

Where are all the race baiters (Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton et al.) when it comes to protesting the black on black crime that occurs every day. Are they doing anything to attack that problem? No they aren’t. They should be organizing “Million Man” marches nationwide decrying black on black violence and trying to come up with solutions for the problem.


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
July 21, 2013 11:24 PM
Why on earth did Zimmerman have to watch his neighborhood bearing a gun? Where do go policemen? It seems this kind of tragedy would repeat for ever as long as self defence law is active.


by: Richard Ruhling from: AZ
July 21, 2013 11:09 PM
The race baiters would have you believe that white on black crime is a very serious problem in our country. The opposite is actually the truth. Sociologists and psychologists can give you their opinions on why the crime rate by blacks is so high --- poverty, oppression by whites, lack of fathers at home, etc. But the bottom line, relating it to today, is that the Trayvon Martin shooting is not something that happens everyday. Black on white and black on black crime is something that does happen everyday. The United States has changed dramatically during the last 60 years. Opportunities exist for anyone of any race willing to work hard for their dreams. Whitey does not spend his time at breakfast making plans for the day about what he can do to keep the black man down. It is the race hustlers who have kept fellow blacks down.


by: Ed Would
July 21, 2013 11:01 PM
Black men commit murder at a rate 6 times higher than their white counterparts. As long as the black community is tolerant of that statistic, society as a whole will likely remain tolerant of people who are suspect of them. One improvement would be to require that police document every arrest with video. The number of black men whose lives have been destroyed by the police for no reason is unfathomable. If you genuinely desire equal rights for everyone, you have to first require that those who are most likely to deprive some of same are held accountable for their actions. To do that, their actions must be documented.


by: Steven from: Illinois
July 21, 2013 8:04 PM
Have civil rights activists become hypocrites? I say YES!! Would they be marching if it had been two black men involved or if a black man had killed some white dirtbag who attacked him? Of course not as they could care less because there are no headlines to grab or drums to beat in such cases.

We have a Black President, Black law makers, Black generals and Black CEOs in this country but nothing grabs headlines from the guilty liberal media as someone using race to further their agenda. They like to ignore the facts of the case and the evidence because that interferes with using it to foster hate and division between groups.


by: richard columbare from: florida
July 21, 2013 4:19 PM
When O.J.Simpson was found not guilty of a double murder of a white woman and a white man I do not recall a demonstration taking place in America. Nor did I see a talking head rabble rouser like Al Sharpton going around stirring up trouble. Different story now though.


by: Robbie Dunn from: Brisbane
July 21, 2013 6:06 AM
Obama is a hypocrite he sells billions of dollars worth of arms around the world every year to kill people. Gives the go ahead for drones to kill men women and children and then goes on TV about the tragic death of this young boy. He is a Muppet and a puppet of his masters.


by: Dean Bird from: USA
July 21, 2013 12:24 AM
Zimmerman and race: Seems that he set up a business with a Black friend, mentored some Black children, took a Black girl to his High School Prom, has some Afro-Peruvian blood in him, is a registered Democrat, and voted for Obama. He shot Martin once while having his head beaten on a cement walk.
The mob called him White, but has backed off of that. They still call him a racist and are against the "Stand Your Ground" law although it had nothing to do with the trial. As Machiavelli wrote: ".....people are more concerned with appearances than reality." Ah well......

In Response

by: cu bui from: usa
July 21, 2013 5:25 PM
A member of the jury told CNN that "Stand Your Ground" forced the jury to vote not guilty. We can not say that "Stand Your Ground" had nothing to do with the trial. Zimmerman was a watch volunteer. What he should have done was 'watch'. Police told him back off but he didn't. He intended to approach Martin face-to-face. He caused the fight. people can interpret the fact this way : Martin punched Zimmerman on the cement walk to stop him pulling his arm. Zimmerman's head got injured because he was busy to pull out his gun to shoot Martin. He did it exactly with only one shot to kill a teenager who he did know that had no arm. Zimmerman is not guilty. I do not think it is fair.


by: Mark from: UK
July 20, 2013 8:11 PM
Mass display of ignorance. What do you want to do to the guy, lynch him? He was acquitted by a jury of his peers. Maybe you should do away with trial by jury, and have trial by JayZ and Beyonce instead.

In Response

by: Anonymous
July 21, 2013 9:27 PM
How is it a jury of his peers when they were all women? Last I looked there are men in Florida.

In Response

by: Morris from: Issaquah, WA
July 21, 2013 4:09 PM
Obama administration and media collusion use psychological operations in the information age:

By combining Clausewitz’s and Sun Tzu’s ideologies, we can discern a goal for information age psychological operations (PSYOP) -to compel the US population to do our will without fighting.
Strategists believe that psychological warfare should be included in any long term strategy. Non-violent intimidation, media manipulation, economic sanctions, financial attacks, information isolation and network attacks are all valid tactics.
Coincidently (or not) Congress recently lifted the ban on using propaganda on Americans. What role, if any, does the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012, which passed as part of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, play in preparing for this national security dilemma?

In Response

by: Anonymous
July 20, 2013 9:27 PM
No comment

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