Some 8,000 people rallied in Sanford, Florida, on Thursday in the largest rally to date to demand justice in the killing of Trayvon Martin. A 17-year-old African American, Martin was shot dead while walking in a gated community last month. He was unarmed. Martin’s shooter, George Zimmerman, has not been arrested or charged. Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, addressed the crowd.
Sybrina Fulton: “I stand before you today not knowing how I’m walking right now, because my heart hurts for my son. Trayvon is my son, Trayvon is your son. I just want to say thank you. Thank you for all your support. It means a lot to me and my family. We really appreciate it. We want justice for Trayvon.”
Tracy Martin: “Without you all, we really have no support. You are our strength. You guys are what keep us going. If Trayvon would have been alive, Trayvon would have been at this rally. Trayvon was a people’s person. He didn’t deserve to die. And I pledge I will not let my son die in vain.”
Many protesters at the rally wore hooded sweatshirts like the one Trayvon wore when he was killed. Also speaking to the crowd was the veteran civil rights activist, the Reverend Al Sharpton.
Rev. Al Sharpton: “Trayvon could have been any one of our sons. Trayvon could have been any one of us. Trayvon represents a reckless disregard for our lives that we’ve seen too long. And we come to tell you tonight, enough is enough. We are tired of going to jail for nothing, and others going home for something. Zimmerman should have been arrested that night.”