(NEW YORK) — In the wake of last weekend’s acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, numerous “Justice for Trayvon” rallies are set for 100 cities across the country Saturday.
The movement was organized by the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. Sharpton said the show of support has been huge.
At a rally in downtown Miami, outside the federal courthouse, protest organizer Bishop Victor T. Curry says they’re calling for an end to Florida’s “Stand Your Ground Laws.”
“It has given people the license to shoot and kill unarmed African American boys and then hide behind this law,” Curry said. “You cannot be told by the police to stay in your car, pursue someone, kill them and then hide behind self-defense.”
In response to Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s announcement that he does not plan to change the law, Curry said that he and the other protesters would “stand our ground,” and convince Scott to change the law.
“We’re just trying to show support for the Martin family to say this is not over, this, this can’t be over,” Curry said.
Martin’s father Tracy Martin was one of the key speakers at a rally in downtown Miami.
“It’s touching my heart right now, it’s touching my family’s heart and we’re glad for all of their support, and we ask that they continue to support, if they want to protest, be peaceful,” Martin said.
In Tampa, protestors are calling on the federal government to press civil rights charges against George Zimmerman.
Crowds in Philadelphia, chanted “yes we will,” while in New York City morning protesters marched through Harlem. Sharpton, Jay Z and Beyonce were in attendance. Another rally has been scheduled to take place in downtown New York. Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother, is expected to attend.
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Sandra Gonzalez, CNN
Elise Labott, Kevin Liptak and Patrick Oppmann, CNN
Jason Hanna, CNN