WUFT News

Crowd Gathers at Bo Diddley Plaza in Gainesville to Protest Zimmerman Verdict

By on July 16th, 2013

Rain didn’t stop more than 100 protesters from showing up at Bo Diddley Plaza in downtown Gainesville to march against the George Zimmerman not guilty verdict.

Diamond Sims was one of the first to arrive and said she will continue to fight for what she believes is just.

“I’m here today to continue my support for Trayvon Martin. The verdict is in, but the fight has just begun. We’re going to continue to fight for justice and I’m going to continue to show my support,” Sims said.

Protesters of many ages and races gathered at the plaza with homemade signs that read “Justice for Trayvon” and “End racial profiling.” Gloria Ashley and her daughters were amongst the protesters and Ashley said although there is not much to be done about the court case’s result, she hopes there can be change for the future.

“No, there’s not much that you can do about what has taken place with the verdict as of Saturday, but there’s a whole lot you can do to prevent this from repeating itself tomorrow,” said Ashley.

The activists marched from the plaza to the Department of Justice field office.  Once inside the building, several speakers shared motivational speeches with the crowd and explained the purpose of the march which is to sign a petition proposed by the NAACP. The NAACP’s petition to the department of justice urges the DOJ to file a civil rights suit against Zimmerman. Jamal Hill, one of the protesters who spoke during the march says they are not yet looking to change the law but merely to enforce it.

“What we are chasing after right now is not a pipe dream, it is not a distant fantasy, this is justice, this is the law. We are not even trying to change the law just yet. Right now we are just trying to enforce the law as written and we want to see it happen now,” Hill said.

The march culminated at the Martin Luther King Memorial Garden as the crowd gathered around chanting and singing in honor of Martin and vowing to continue to fight for justice in his name.


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