We Lost the Battle, But the War's Far From Over
Posted in the Minneapolis Forum
#1 Jul 15, 2013
Two weeks after the inexcusable death of young Trayvon Martin, I received a call from the attorney representing the Martin family, Benjamin Crump. It was a plea for assistance as the person responsible for the 17-year-old's death was walking around freely as if nothing had happened. George Zimmerman wasn't arrested that fateful night. George Zimmerman wasn't arrested the next day. George Zimmerman, in fact, wasn't arrested for over 40 days after killing a teenager. It was only because of a rallying cry for justice that the Sanford police department had to do its job and place handcuffs around Zimmerman. It was only after tens of thousands marched and protested that a special prosecutor was assigned to the case, who then brought charges that they failed to bring. And it was only then that this case finally went to trial. After this weekend's atrocious verdict, some are acting as if a trial was automatic from the beginning. Let's not have amnesia. Grassroots activism and mobilization for truth are the only reason why we even know the names Trayvon and Zimmerman. And they will once again be the reason why we take the fight to a federal level. The jury's decision has left us with an atrocity and a disgrace to any American who believes in freedom, equality and justice. Interfering with the right of a person to walk home having committed no crime or trespassing is an outrageous travesty and a violation of that person's civil liberties. Trayvon Martin had a civil right to go home that night. He never made it to his destination because of the actions of one man, and one man alone who was not a member of law enforcement and had no authority to disrupt his right of movement.
The Martin family, their lawyers and I met with U.S. federal attorneys last year to look into the case. They suspended their investigation as the state proceeded with its own. Following this weekend's incomprehensible decision, we must reinstitute the federal investigation into the protection of the civil rights of Trayvon Martin. My organization, National Action Network (NAN), and I call on people to demonstrate in front of federal courthouses in 100 cities across the country this Saturday at noon. Whether you're Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, male, female -- if you are on the side of truth and progress you must rally this Saturday and push for a federal investigation. If we allow the killing of an unarmed Black teenager to be turned into some sort of circus where the responsible party blames the victim, then we have reached the height of absurdity. But in this moment of frustration, we cannot become so disillusioned that we lose focus. We will not get hopeless in this situation, we will get organized.
More at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-al-sharpton...
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