At the 'Justice for Trayvon' Rally in Los Angeles
Al Sharpton's National Action Network held a "Justice for Trayvon" rally in downtown Los Angeles this morning. I estimate there were 200-300 people in attendance with probably ten percent of them journalists.
There were more than a dozen speakers during the event which lasted around two hours. I'll be editing together a clip of some of the statements which should be up tonight. In the meantime, here is a collection of photos taken at the event. Here is the approach to the building where the rally was held.
This shot above is a view of the court house before the rally has gotten started.
There were dozens of cops on hand.
Major news organizations turned out including AP, CNN and all the local affiliates. There was even one crew working for a Japanese news outlet.
There were 5-6 people on hand selling T-shirts including this one.
About ten minutes before 9am people started to line up behind the podium.
There were a lot of signs on hand. Some pre-printed and some hand made.
My camera was misbehaving but this guy was willing to pose with his sign.
Probably one of the angriest signs I saw.
This was being held by a boy about 12 years old. He was smiling at having his photo taken though because of his age I left out his face.
The boy in front of him, who may have been his younger brother, had a similar sign.
There were several pre-printed signs by this one group including this one above.
This boy was there with his father who was being interviewed.
This signs says "Racism is Alive & Well in Amerikkka! Zimmerman is a cold blooded murderer!!!"
Another pre-printed sign comparing Trayvon to Emmett Till.
This is the view from the courthouse steps at the height of the rally. It extended down the sidewalk in both directions but also thinned out.
Another t-shirt several people were wearing. It reads "We are all Trayvon. The whole damn system is guilty."
"Stand your ground against racist cops and vigilantes."
The organization that printed these signs wants a revolution.
A plea to President Obama.
Actually a near majority of the country agrees with the verdict but not at this rally.
This is the kind of sign you might see at any political rally.
"The whole system is racist." Down below in tiny letters "We are all Trayvon."
For some people the verdict did not register.
This is obviously true. But then, calling the police on someone unfamiliar walking through your neighborhood is also not a crime.
There were a few signs like this one suggesting ultimate justice.
This woman was standing next to me hugging her daughter who seemed young, maybe 12. At one point, because we were jammed together in the crowd I overheard a conversation between them. A speaker mentioned Emmett Till and the daughter asked who that was. The mother said he was a young boy who'd been killed. The daughter asked why. The mother replied "because he was black." A few moments passed and when I looked over the daughter was looking at some photos of Till's body on her mother's cell phone. I don't believe the shooting of Trayvon Martin is remotely like the murder of Emmett Till. I agree with the jury that it was a case of justifiable self defense in which race had no part. But witnessing this little scene did help explain why this story goes beyond the facts of the case for many people. Al Sharpton is tapping into deep fears some African-americans have about the safety of their children.
View from down the street near the end of the rally.