Sunday, March 25, 2012

Justice 4 Trayvon

An estimated 8,000 people gathered in Sanford's Fort Mellon park to rally for justice in the Trayvon Martin shooting. Reverand Al Sharpton had flown to Sanford to support the cause. Originally the rally was going to be held at the First Iconium Baptist church, but organizers realized that the church couldn't support the expected crowds. With such a huge crowd, I realized I couldn't get close to the stage. Instead as community leaders spoke, I wandered inside the crowd that filled the stadium sized field of grass. I didn't look towards the stage, instead I looked back at the crowd of people behind me.

I decided to sit down and sketch these three teens holding signs for Trayvon. The Hollister T-shirt was similar to the one worn by Trayvon in the photo seen everywhere. They were about his age and probably went to the same school. Grief counselors have yet to advise students on how to handle the events surrounding the shooting and death of their classmate. A teacher calling roll, called out Trayvon's name having forgot he wouldn't be coming back. She broke down and cried. George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain followed and shot the unarmed teen when he was walking home from a convenience store carrying iced tea and skittles. A witness heard Treyvon crying for help just before he was shot.

On March 23rd thousands of students from roughly 50 schools in Florida staged walkouts to protest the killing. Meanwhile, the Change.org petition demanding the arrest of George Zimmerman, Martin’s shooter, surpassed 1.5 million signatures, making it all time fastest-growing petition in Change.org’s history, according to the group. Supporters of Martin’s family organized a “Million Hoodie March” last Wednesday in New York City. Hundreds of participants wore hoodies to the march which sought to protest both the police handling of the shooting and racial profiling in general.

Sybrina Fulton, Martin's mother, stood on stage with Al Sharpton and tearfully said, "I stand before you today not knowing how I'm walking right now, because my heart hurts for my son. Trayvon is my son. Trayvon is your son. Thanks so much for your support." "This is not about black and white. This is about right and wrong."

2 comments:

Zoe, ontheroad said...

Thank you for bringing the reality to me with your sketches and words here in NEPA.

Balaji said...

While I am all admiration for the spontaneous mobilization of such a large number of people to ensure that justice is done in this case, I am horrified that even in the US obtaining justice requires an effort of such a magnitude.