Photo Set 1 http://la.indymedia.org/news/2013/07/260988.php
Photo Set 2 http://la.indymedia.org/news/2013/07/261010.php
A week after the George Zimmerman murder trial verdict which ended in a complete acquittal of all charges in the death of seventeen year old Trayvon Martin a nationwide rally was staged to pressure Attorney General Holder to charge Zimmerman with civil rights violations.
The rallies called “Justice for Trayvon Day ” were organized by The Reverend Al Sharpton.
Over one hundred cities participated with Martin's parents appearing at the New York City rally and the Miami events. The NYC day was attended by celebrities and glitterati .
The LA action was much more basic. No stages and no celebs. Just concerned Moms and Dads, Grandpas and Grandmas, little boys and girls and those not yet born.
The los Angeles event started at nine AM in front of the Federal Courthouse on Spring street and eventually marched to the upper south side via Wilshire Ave. The marchers were made up of mostly families supporting each other in the heat and under the watchful eye of the LAPD.
The police presence was minimal with no visible riot cops. Although two trucks full of battle police did appear blocks away after the march had worn down.
There were black, white, Asian and Hispanic families carrying messages that in no uncertain terms cried out for the safety of black men and boys through a cessation of the "Stand Your Ground " laws that are in the statutes of 34 states at this time. There were calls to end profiling and to protect our youth from vigilantism.
The protesters were absolutely non-violent which is in strong contrast to the Los Angeles and Oakland actions from the previous weekends reactions to the verdict.
Los Angeles has a bleak history of racial abuse from the Parker / Gates era. It still has yearly problems with race and class abuse that often results in the shooting death of the profiled person.
It is a well known issue that there are certain areas of Los Angeles where a black male will garner unwarranted police attention simply by being there, either walking or driving, well dressed or not, poor or well off , a black male will be followed and questioned often times in the most humiliating ways possible.
This crowd of protesters had many middle aged and elderly members who where conscious in the Civil Rights era. They had seen the Watts and Rodney King riots and pressured the LAPD under the recently lifted Federal Consent Decree. They had born these burdens and lived to see a better Los Angeles.
But there wasn't any apathy or satisfaction in this crowd.
There were demands for an end to police profiling.
There were demands for an end to solitary confinement in California prisons and jails.
There were demands for a federal trial for Zimmerman.
There were demands for a realization that there are more black males under the control of the judicial system than there were slaves in the slavery period.
They were demanding that their sons have the right to grow up un-harrassed.
The crowd had a good many father/ son and mother/ son pairings. Some of the parents with very small boys expressed some reservations about perhaps scaring their kids with the rally but each one that I spoke to said that this is the reality they will have to face and better to get them ready for the fact that they will be profiled.
None of these little guys looked frightened though. Perhaps it was due the loving and protective energy from their parents. They had "Backup".
Quite a few of the participants cited President Obama's words on profiling to be something that needed to be said and were grateful that he stepped up to the plate as much as he did. However, they utterly rejected his call to accept the verdict and give up hope for a federal hate crime indictment against George Zimmerman.
The march was led "Wildcat" style meaning that there was no filed plan citing the route the marchers would take. This is a great technique for young highly energetic Black-Bloc anarchist kids who can outrun the police.
This march however eventually climbed the steep hill on Wilshire boulevard that leads to Pico Union sweating in the hot sun. It then split in two with some returning to the courthouse and some going on to Leimert Park in South Central LA.
The Federal Building crowd stayed on until the afternoon, eventually petering out..............
Robert Stuart Lowden
Los Angeles 7/20/2013