Philadelphia, PA March 23rd 2012. On a beautiful Spring evening in Philadelphia thousands of people marched from 30th St Station to Love Park calling for justice for the murder of Trayvon Martin. Dubbed by organizers “The Million Hoodie March” it was promoted heavy on Twitter and Facebook.
The crowd, mostly consisting of high school students, flooded the streets chanting “No justice, No peace!”
The protest demanded the immediate arrest of George Zimmerman, the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who shot and killed 17 year old Trayvon Martin in Florida. Martin was walking in a gated community when Zimmerman spotted him wearing a black hoody and called 911.
Zimmerman, age 28, ignoring the 911 operative’s advice, proceeded to follow and confront the unarmed Martin. A scuffle between the two happened ending with the murder of Martin. Zimmerman told police it was “self defense” and was released after questioning.
Zimmerman’s “self defense” claim has come under fire from African Americans across the country with accusations of racial profiling, racism, and murder. The 911 recordings seem to show Zimmeman as the aggressor.
The estimated five to eight thousand protesters ended their walk at Philadelphia’s Love Park. With the legendary Love Statue as a Backdrop, various politicians and activists including Pam Afrika, Boots Reily, and Philadelphia poet Just Greg spoke to the sea of young people expressing their disappointment with how the Florida authorities have been handling the Trayvon Martin Murder.
Black Hoodies bearing the face of Trayyon Davis was the uniform of the night. One couldn’t help but notice the strong presence of African American teenage youth. Ironically this is the same population Philadelphia authorities and media labeled as “flash mobs” whenever they gathered in large numbers in center city last summer.
“I think they can identify.” said one observer. “If it can happen to Trayvon, it can happen to any of us.”
“The Million Hoodie March” was just one of many large scale protests across the country in response to the Trayvon Martin tragedy.