Tuesday, February, 26th will mark a year since 17 year old Trayvon Martin was shot down and murdered in cold blood by George Zimmerman in Sandford, Florida.
This case sparked protests across the nation and international attention for the evident racism present in the fact that it took the state/police 46 days to arrest and charge Zimmerman. Mr. Zimmerman was allowed to go on with his life with no formal responsibility for killing Martin while Trayvon lied in a body bag and his parents mourned with the justification apparently being the”Stand Your Ground Law”.
It was only through public pressure and actions around the state of Florida that Zimmerman’s arrest was finally secured. At UF, the black community and students had several massive demonstrations in the name of achieving justice for Trayvon Martin where students not only targeted the FBI office in calls for federal involvement in order for the shooting to be investigated as a hate crime but also confronting backward, racist forces such as the Dove Outreach Center and Terry Jones.
Despite eventually being arrested after public pressure, justice for Martin has still not been secured and in an upcoming Stand Your Ground hearing in April the case and charges of 2nd degree murder could be dismissed completely, allowing Zimmerman to walk scott free.
This is unacceptable and we as students and the Gainesville community must continue to have our voices heard on this issue until justice is won. And with recent events involving another 17 year old, Jordan Davis being shot down for playing loud music which also has been defended by the Stand Your Ground law it is evident that unless we stand up to repeal this racist law, more of our black and brown youth will continue to be slain by racist vigilantes who place no value on the bodies of people of color.
Join UF Dream Defenders and UF SDS 6:30pm Tuesday for a speak out held at Bo Didley Plaza to stand up again for Martin and justice.-Eric B