Hundreds of people gathered in front of the federal building in Las Vegas for the National Actions Network Rally for Trayvon Martin. KCEP radio was there, playing gospel music before the speakers started, the mood was positive and upbeat. There was free water provided to attendees, as it was terribly hot outside. The organizers were conscientious about trash clean up and letting people know this was a peaceful rally.
Below are some excerpts from the speeches at the rally.
Sheila Collins, who organized the rally, opened by saying “I want you to understand the reason why we are here today. We are here to ask the federal government to pursue and investigate filing civil rights violations against George Zimmerman. That is our purpose for standing out here today…we are honoring Trayvon Martin but there are many Trayvon Martins due to a bias and unbalance in the system….now it seems that it is unsafe for black men to live in America.”
The Black National Anthem was played and before the Master of Ceremonies, Lou Collins, spoke to the audience. Collins is Sheila’s sister and Pearson community center manager.
“We can let his country know that in Las Vegas, there is justice for all, so this will not continue to happen in our communities.
Thank you for bringing your children out, lots of children..so they can understand that there is two Americas, two Americas, what works for them, doesn’t work for us. (applause)”
Pastor Charles McCaul spoke and led the group in prayer. “The not-guilty verdict is not the end of the story, we know lord that you have the power to turn the situation around..if you can raise Jesus up from the dead..move upon the hearts of the federal government to reopen this case to seek justice for Trayvon Martin.”
Lou Collins returned to stage and spoke: “George Zimmerman admitted to pulling the trigger, he admitted to pulling the trigger, he admitted to stalking him down so again everybody knows the judicial system failed us. He admitted to his guilt and of course they put a spin on it… I want to make sure everybody understands, that it’s not fair, it’s about all ethnicities that are here today, an injustice is an injustice… we need to make sure we don’t just do these things when tragedy and travesty hit our communities. ”
Local affiliate president of NAN and long time activist and community organizer, Gene Collins (father of Lou and Sheila) addressed the audience: “it is not about National Action Network, it is not about Gene Collins, it is about the social change we are seeking in this community….today is a day the Lord has made to demonstrate to the state of Florida and other states who has passed laws who are bias to black and brown people of this race..we are here also to ask our sports icons Lebron James, Dewayne Wade [unintelligible] and other professional players in baseball and footballs to change franchises and play for another another franchise until the state of Florida recognizes there has to be change. We also asking the collegiate athletes who have signed contracts and who have signed letters of intent to play for various universities to transfer to another university until the Governor of the state of Florida calls a special session and changes the laws so that African American males and females, black and brown kids will be safe in the state of Florida.”