Thousands Join Trayvon Rallies Across U.S.

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 20 2013 3:16 PM

Thousands Join “Justice for Trayvon” Rallies Across the Country

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Trayvon Martin's mother Sybrina Fulton speaks at a podium as Trayvon Martin's brother Jahvaris Fulton and Rev. Al Sharpton attend a rally outside One Police Plaza in Manhattan

Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images

Thousands of people gathered in front of federal buildings in more than 100 cities across the country to express their anger that the man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, was allowed to walk free last week. Protesters had two basic messages, federal civil rights charges should be filed against George Zimmerman and self-defense laws must change. In Miami, protesters sang “We Shall Overcome” and gathered around Trayvon Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, reports Reuters. In New York, Jay-Z and Beyonce appeared at the New York rally, where around 200 people heard Trayvon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, speak up against gun violence. "Today it was my son. Tomorrow it might be yours," she told the crowd, according to the New York Daily News. "I promise you I'm going to work for your children as well."

Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network organized the “Justice for Trayvon” rallies that were apparently scheduled to take place in 101 cities. Organizers told young people attending the events they should take a bag of Skittles and wear hoodies, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

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Sharpton told supporters Saturday morning that he wants to see a change in the stand-your-ground self-defense laws. "We are trying to change laws so that this never, ever happens again," Sharpton said, according to the Associated Press. Sharpton also appeared to make a deliberate effort to hit some of the same points that President Obama did on his highly personal remarks about Martin Friday. "Racial profiling is not as bad as segregation, but you don't know the humiliation of being followed in a department store," Sharpton said. In Washington, D.C. “a few hundred” people gathered outside the federal courthouse, reports the Washington Post.

After the jump, a selection of photographs from the protests.

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Women holds a sign as they attend a rally honoring Trayvon Martin outside One Police Plaza in Manhattan

Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images

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Protesters take part in a rally outside the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse in Washington, D.C.

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

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Beyonce crosses paths with Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, at a rally in New York

Photo by DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

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Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, attends a rally honoring Trayvon Martin in Manhattan

Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images

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Protesters in support of Trayvon Martin march across the Brooklyn Bridge after attending a rally

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

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Demonstrators gather in Los Angeles to honor Trayvon Martin

Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

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Skittles and a can of iced tea are seen on a bench as people demonstrate in Washington

Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

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A man holds up a black hoodie in memory of Trayvon Martin in New York

Photo by DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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