Thousands Turn Out For I Am Trayvon Martin Rally
ATLANTA (WAOK/AJC)- More than three thousand people mostly students from the Atlanta area HBCU’s attended an emotional highly charged protest rally for Trayvon Martin at the Georgia State Capital on Monday.
The Atlanta rally, was one of the dozens held across the country on the one month anniversary of the death of Martin.
Officials had to close the street in front of the Capitol and several times Derrick Boazman activist and talk show host on WAOK asked the crowd to make room for people who were still lined among Martin Luther King Blvd trying to hear the speakers at the rally.
Hundreds of students from the Atlanta University Center marched down Martin Luther King Jr. Drive from their campuses to attend the rally. The late afternoon heat and the wearing of hoodie sweatshirts lead to several people needing medical attention.
The crowd was prompted to chant “No Justice, No Peace” by several speakers and all chanted, “I AM TRAYVON.”
The two youngest members of the Georgia House of Representatives — reacting to last month’s shooting death of a 17-year-old in Florida in a case that has riveted the nation — promised to file legislation Tuesday that would repeal Georgia’s “Stand Your Ground” law.
Reps. Alisha Thomas Morgan, D-Austell, and Rashad Taylor, D-Atlanta, said, despite the fact that the 2012 legislative session is almost over, gun legislation has to be reigned in. In the time remaining in the session, the General Assembly is debating a bill that would lower the age to carry a gun to 18.
“We want to make a statement to get the conversation started,” Taylor said. “So when we come back, we will have something. This doesn’t make any sense. We should not have a society where guns are the norm.”
Morgan and Taylor’s pledge came at the end of a long and emotional rally to bring attention to the Feb. 26 shooting death of Martin in the Orlando suburb of Sanford, and to call for the prosecution of George Zimmerman, who fatally shot Martin but has not been charged. One of the the march’s organizers, Markel Hutchins, challenged lawmakers to push legislation challenging “Stand Your Ground.”
The Atlanta rally, the second to happen since the death of Martin, was one of the dozens or so held across the country.
George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, said he shot Martin in self-defense. Florida allows a person who feels threatened with bodily harm or death to take matters into his own hands. Georgia passed a similar law in 2006.
V-103 personalities Ryan Cameron, Frank Ski, Egypt and Greg Street addressed the crowd along with WAOK’s Lorraine Jacques White, members of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, The NAACP and the National Action Network.