Yesterday as I was leaving to go to Union Square for the demonstration, I ended my blog post about the book Chavs with a call for working-class unity spurred by the Trayvon Martin case. Now, having spent several hours last night at the demonstration and marching through the streets of Manhattan with thousands of people, mostly young Black women and men, I can report that this case is not going away.
The fact that thousands of people came out here, thousands of miles away and almost a month after the racist killing of this African American teenager, to demand justice, proves that.
Trayvon Martin's parents came to the rally and spoke to those assembled. They clearly were moved, and strengtehened, by the support, and vowed to press on.
The rage of the Black community at the never-ending open season on young Black men, by police as well as by individual racists as in this case, was much in evidence last night. "I am Trayvon Martin" was chanted over and over for hours, alternating with "No justice, no peace!"
Trayvon Martin was carrying a can of iced tea and a bag of candy, Skittles, when he was gunned down, so many in the crowd too carried these items, hoisting them as they chanted. And of course everyone was wearing hoodies, as the action had been called as the "Million Hoodie March," a reference to the killer's claim that the teenager somehow looked threatening, criminal, because he had pulled on his hood to protect himself from the rain that terrible night.
I haven't posted about political events or demonstrations on this blog in quite a while, but then I haven't been to an action that was so energized and powerful in a long time either, so, despite the not-great quality of my cell phone pix, I did want to get a few of them up here. Justice for Trayvon Martin!