Columbus hosted one of Al Sharpton's "100 City Vigils" Saturday at the Government Center. New Three spoke with a lot of the younger attendees and they said it was an educational experience for them.
The N.A.A.C.P. called for attendees to sign an online petition, but there were several different reasons people attended the rally.
Crowds were heard chanting, "I am Trayvon Martin, I am Trayvon Martin." More than 400 people came to the government center to take a stand, show their support, and have their voices heard.
"I just hope everybody stands their ground and gets justice for Trayvon," said Victoria Pitts.
"I came out today just to support the Martin family to let them know that there are people in their corner," said Marvin Banks. Banks says he's been following the case from the beginning and said, "It's one of those things that you can't let go."
State N.A.A.C.P. president Edward DuBose said the support at the rally was welcome.
"It's a good feeling but at the same time it's a sad feeling because there is a loss of life that we can never bring back," said DuBose. Columbus was one of a hundred cities where rallies were planned Saturday. Atlanta held their own rally at the Russell Federal Building downtown.
The N.A.A.C.P. wants to get 1 million signatures to press the federal government to investigate civil charges against George Zimmerman, but DoBose says the rally was about more than just Trayvon Martin.
"If we change the laws, we can stop many more young African Americans from being killed," said DuBose. Organizers agreed voting was the way to fix what they think is a broken justice system.
"In order to make change in your immediate area you have to come out and vote more than just once every 4 years," said Banks. The Young Minority Leaders hosted the rally and DuBose was thankful they did.
"Columbus has to have this conversation too about how do we protect our young people," said DuBose. Rally attendees hope Saturday was not an end but a beginning of justice for Trayvon Martin and a conversation starter to change Stand Your Ground laws across the United States.
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