Thousands of Chicagoans frustrated by the ruling in the George Zimmerman trial, racial profiling and the justice system as a whole took to Federal Plaza for a Saturday vigil that called for "Justice For Trayvon."
The demonstration was one of several taking place in 100 cities around the country Saturday.
“The verdict was a galvanizing moment for people,” protester David Lowery Jr. told WGN. “I’m hoping this is a platform for black latinos and whites to come together. This is America. We’re a melting pot.
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Police estimated some 6,000 people attended the rally, where demonstrators carried signs with odes to Martin and messages like “LGBTs Against Racism,” the Tribune reports. Speakers at the rally, which included Rev. Jesse Jackson and St. Sabina's Father Michael Pfleger, called for an end to "stand your ground" laws like the ones argued in Zimmerman's defense.
Jackson called for a boycott of Florida -- including spring break trips and conventions -- quoted by the Sun-Times as saying “In Florida ‘stand your ground’ is an incentive to kill."
“I thought about what it would mean, if I were in his shoes and how the verdict might have been the same,” Quinn Rallins, 27, a law school student living on Chicago’s South Side, told the paper. “What happened to Trayvon happens to too many people in our community.”
The family of Emmet Till, a black Chicago boy whose 1955 murdered in Mississippi sparked the Civil Rights movement, reflected back on their loved one's tragic end in the wake of Martin's killing during the rally.
Till’s cousin, Erica Gordon Taylor, told CBS Chicago Zimmerman's "not guilty" verdict “ripped open” old wounds in Till’s extended family.
After the rally, about 200 people marched over Adams Street and up Michigan Avenue to Millennium Park.