Thousands of protesters attend rally in Sanford, Florida

By David Ferguson
Saturday, March 31, 2012 15:36 EDT
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Marchers in Sanford, Florida via MSNBC
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Thousands of protesters, including civil rights leaders, media figures, activists and ordinary citizens gathered on Saturday at a rally in Sanford, Florida, site of the February shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.  According to MSNBC.com, the protest began on the campus of a local high school, wound through a predominantly black neighborhood, and ended at the Sanford Police Department, blocks away.

Marchers included NAACP President Ben Jealous, Rev. Al Sharpton, now of MSNBC-TV, and Reverend Jesse Jackson.  The rally was organized by the NAACP, with branches in Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina organizing bus-loads of marchers who came as a show of solidarity and to demand an arrest of the man who admits to shooting Martin, George Zimmerman.

Protesters marched to gospel music and carried banners that said, “Justice for Trayvon.”

“We want an arrest,” they chanted, “Shot in the chest.”

“Because of the age of the young man and because of the circumstances of his death, every community can identify with that,” Bernard Simelton, president of the Alabama NAACP told MSNBC, “We’ve had things like that happen in Alabama where somebody gets killed and the police just sweep it under the rug. It just touches everyone.”

Sanford police have not arrested Zimmerman on the grounds that there is insufficient evidence to disprove his claim that he acted in self-defense.  The case will go before a grand jury in April, with a special prosecutor appointed to direct an inquiry into the incident.

Watch video of the march, embedded via MSNBC, below:

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David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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