Hundreds rally in North Portland to protest Zimmerman verdict
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV/AP) -
Hundreds of people outraged over the not guilty verdict in the Trayvon Martin murder case held a rally in North Portland Sunday afternoon.
Organizers with the Portland Alliance and the Portland Campaign to End the New Jim Crow held the rally in Peninsula Park at 4 p.m. followed by a march through the neighborhood.
"We are here because a racist vigilante stalked and murdered an unarmed black man in Florida and then he was set free," one organizer shouted to the crowd.
Protesters took turns giving passionate speeches from a gazebo. Many said the jury would have convicted Zimmerman if he was black, and Martin was white.
"We fought to have equality in America, and to see it go backwards and have it happen with the judicial system is affecting us on all kinds of levels," said Tere Joyce.
After the verdict came down Saturday night, another group of protestors marched to the Justice Center in downtown Portland late Saturday night with makeshift signs, demanding justice.
From the front steps of the building, the group expressed anger and dismay that a Florida jury decided to acquit George Zimmerman of murder and manslaughter charges in the shooting death of Martin, an unarmed, African-American 17-year-old.
The group downtown Saturday night was mainly peaceful as it echoed the sentiments of many U.S. citizens with concerns over racial profiling, self-defense and equal justice.
However , some angry protesters in Oakland, CA, broke windows, burned flags and started small street fires. In Florida, about 200 demonstrators marched in Tallahassee carrying signs that said "Racism is Not Dead" and "Who's Next?"
As reaction to the verdict continues to ripple throughout the country, the number of planned demonstrations is growing.
Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.
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