Rally brings localized attention to Trayvon Martin verdict


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Gathering around the cries of ‘No justice, no peace,’ approximately three dozen people came together on the Pedestrian Mall on Sunday in support of Trayvon Martin and in opposition to the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial and the stand-your-ground law that was used in his a defense.

Speaker after speaker cited the importance of equality for all and the unfairness of the nation’s justice system.

“Why doesn’t the stand-your-ground law apply to Trayvon Martin?” one speaker at the rally asked of the crowd.

When asked why she chose to attend the rally, Iowa City resident and speaker Jennifer Portman-Scott replied simply, “Inequality.”

Portman-Scott went on to compare the trial of George Zimmerman to that of a black Florida woman who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot that caused no injuries.

“When both cited the stand-your-ground law, only one had ground to stand on,” she said.

Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African American who was unarmed while walking home from a convenience store, was shot and killed on Feb. 26, 2012, by Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla.

On July 13, a Florida jury found Zimmerman not guilty in the teenager’s death.

The rally was held as part of the Trayvon Martin Organizing Committee’s efforts to spread awareness and justice for Martin. Across the nation, more than 70 rallies were planned for 6 p.m. on the day the verdict was handed down, according to the committee’s Wordpress site.

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