Thousands of people gathered in front of federal buildings in more than 100 cities across the country to express their anger that the man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, was allowed to walk free last week. Protesters had two basic messages, federal civil rights charges should be filed against George Zimmerman and self-defense laws must change. In Miami, protesters sang “We Shall Overcome” and gathered around Trayvon Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, reports Reuters. In New York, Jay-Z and Beyonce appeared at the New York rally, where around 200 people heard Trayvon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, speak up against gun violence. “Today it was my son. Tomorrow it might be yours,” she told the crowd, according to the New York Daily News. “I promise you I’m going to work for your children as well.”
Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network organized the “Justice for Trayvon” rallies that were apparently scheduled to take place in 101 cities. Organizers told young people attending the events they should take a bag of Skittles and wear hoodies, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Sharpton told supporters Saturday morning that he wants to see a change in the stand-your-ground self-defense laws. “We are trying to change laws so that this never, ever happens again,” Sharpton said, according to the Associated Press. Sharpton also appeared to make a deliberate effort to hit some of the same points that President Obama did on his highly personal remarks about Martin Friday. “Racial profiling is not as bad as segregation, but you don’t know the humiliation of being followed in a department store,” Sharpton said. In Washington, D.C. “a few hundred” people gathered outside the federal courthouse, reports the Washington Post.
After the jump, a selection of photographs from the protests.