The Faces of 90.5 WESA
Mon March 26, 2012
Pittsburghers Rally for Trayvon Martin
One month after the shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, protesters in Pittsburgh rallied at Carnegie Mellon University on Monday to call for the prosecution of gunman George Zimmerman.
Hundreds of people showed up at CMU in hooded sweatshirts, holding candy and iced tea. Those are the things 17-year-old Martin was carrying when he was shot to death by Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida on February 26.
Speakers at the rally said the unofficial neighborhood watch member killed Martin because he was African-American.
"It is about racism. It is about the system of white supremacy," said Kimberly Ellis, Director of the Historic Hill Institute. "It's so unfair, it's so not right, but it is so consistent. It's not an anomaly. I felt the same way when I saw Jordan Miles's picture."
Zimmerman claims he shot Martin in self-defense.
University of Pittsburgh law student Jennifer St. Peru said authorities must prove Zimmerman didn't act in self-defense before he could be charged under Florida law. St. Peru said she thinks laws like that should motivate African-Americans to vote.
"It's not enough to just come to these rallies, wear a hoodie, have your Skittles, and then leave and go back to your business. No, you need to be informed. You need to know what's going on in your state. You need to know who is voting for what," said St. Peru.
Rally organizers set up a voter registration table at the rally. An electronic petition for the prosecution of George Zimmerman was available as well.