KILLED: Trayvon Martin
HUNDREDS OF people will gather outside the American Embassy in central London this Saturday to protest following the death of a black teenager who was shot and killed by a neighbourhood watchman on his way home in Florida.
The protest, called by Campaign 4 Justice, Tottenham Defence Campaign, BARAC, comedian Ava Vidal and Supported by Defend the Right to Protest, comes after a similar demonstration in the US in response the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Trayvon was returning to his father's fiancee's house last month after buying Skittles for his younger brother and an iced tea for himself at a nearby 7-Eleven store, when he was shot and killed by George Zimmerman.
Zimmerman, a ‘Spanish speaking minority,’ claimed the teen was acting 'suspicious' and he later shot him in self-defence during a confrontation in the Sanford, Florida, gated community on Feb 26.
PETITION: There have been 1.5 million signatures calling for the arrest of neighbourhood watchman, George Zimmerman
The seemingly unprovoked shooting has sparked outrage in the Florida community as citizens call for Zimmerman's arrest.
However, four weeks after the shooting, Zimmerman has not been arrested on based on the state’s ‘stand your ground’ laws, which protects those who kill in self-defence.
An online petition urging local authorities to prosecute Zimmerman has meanwhile drawn more than 700,000 signatures at website Change.org. While a number of celebrities have also joined in the campaign for justice.
Last week, hundreds of demonstrators marched wearing hoodies in New York’s Union Square demanding that the killer of a black teenager be brought to justice.
UNPROVOKED ATTACKED: The parents of Trayvon Martin believed the teen was targeted because he was black
In what has been dubbed ‘The Million Hoodie March’, demonstrators dressed in hooded sweatshirts - just like Martin was on the day he died - chanted: "We want arrests!"
Martin’s father Tracy told the crowd: "My son did not deserve to die.”
A statement on the Defend The Right To Protest website reads: “Trayvon was not armed. He was wearing a hoodie and was racially profiled as ‘up to no good’, ‘possibly on drugs’ by Zimmermann whose call to the police clearly shows he followed the teenager despite advice from the police not to."
SUPPORT: President Barack Obama called the death of Trayvon Martin and subsequent investigation a “tragedy” in his first public comments since the teen was gunned down
It continues: “More than 4 weeks on, after over 1.5 million signatures on a petition by Trayvon’s family, and recent statements by the President Obama, Zimmermann is still walking free. This peaceful picket is called to show solidarity with Trayvon Martin’s family from London, where racial profiling has also cost the lives of many black people in police custody.”
The group urges members of the public to convene outside the American Embassy in Grovesnor Square at 1.30pm wearing hoodies and carrying a packet of Skittles, the brand of sweets Trayvon was carrying when he was shot.
“Please come, wear a hoodie, bring a packet of skittles, your children, friends, family and anyone else you can gather to say no to racism and call for justice for Trayvon Martin, who died walking home while being black!” They said.
A grand jury will convene in central Florida to consider the case on April 10.
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