About 100 residents, activists and community leaders rallied Saturday outside the federal courthouse in downtown Minneapolis, praying for Trayvon Martin’s family and condemning the “systematic problem” of racial injustice.
“We don’t want to see this continue to happen anywhere,” said Apostle Anatha of the Minneapolis Chapter National Action Network. “We’re going to continue to fight for these families.”
Like a similar rally in Minneapolis last Monday that brought out several thousand people, speakers at Saturday’s vigil demanded justice not just for Martin but for Terrence Franklin, the man killed during a scuffle with Minneapolis police officers this spring.
“We have our own Trayvon Martin,” said Lena Buggs, a St. Paul activist. “These protests will go on all summer until we get the justice we need.”
The hour-long vigil included speeches from several local pastors encouraging peace as Heather Martens of Protect Minnesota, which aims to end gun violence, collected signatures for a petition urging the Department of Justice to press charges against Zimmerman. U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison also spoke, telling the crowd that it's "important we don't get bitter, we get better."
It was the third rally for Martin that Wahida Omar, 29, of Minneapolis has been to this week. Holding a cardboard sign that read “All youth deserve a just future,” Omar said she was there for her 20-year-old brother and the youth she mentors through the AmeriCorps.
“It’s important for people to come together,” she said. “When you’re out here, you realize people do care.”