By Wesley Martin
“No justice – no peace,” seemed to be the universal hymn last Saturday at thousands gathered in Sanford, Fla. for a march and rally at the Sanford Police Department. The event’s main purpose called for the arrest of the killer of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman. (Over 80 individuals traveled from Northwest Florida to Sanford for the rally on Saturday.)
“The purpose of today’s rally is to call on Sanford PD to bring Mr. Zimmerman to justice, said Benjamin Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP. “We’re all united in our call for justice to be done here in Sanford.”
“Students, parents and teachers are tired of racial profiling,” Jealous added. “We’re tired of the lives of young black men not being treated with the same level of importance when they’re killed as we see when other races and other genders are killed.”
Organized primarily by Florida State Conference of the NAACP, branches from all over the southeast were in attendance for Saturday’s event.
“We are calling for the firing of the police chief; stepping aside is not good enough,” said Adora obi Nweze, president of the Florida State Conference.
Roslyn Brock, Chairman, NAACP National Board of Directors, said the united the front of the civil rights leadership community will ensure justice is served.
“You see the civil rights leadership here – we’re standing united and we will not allow media or anyone else to divide us on this issue,” Brock said. “We stand in support of the Martin family, but we stand most and foremost for the arrest and due-process under the law to bring the murderer of Trayvon Martin to justice.”
Elvin McCorvey, president of the Pensacola branch of the NAACP, said he believes the black community is fed up.
“I think it sent the message that we are sick and tired of being sick and tired,” McCorvey said. “I think the message was that we are not going to turn back. We’ll keep marching: We’ll keep fighting until justice is accomplished. And we’re hoping to remind all people everywhere, regardless of their racial group, that it’s time to treat all men as equal and to be fair.”
The Pensacola Branch of the NAACP meets the second Thursday of each month at the Bayview Park Senior Citizen building.