Protesters will gather at the corner of South Marietta Parkway and Fairground Street at 6 p.m. Saturday for the “MARCH, RALLY & VIGIL for Justice for Trayvon,” which will culminate in Glover Park from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Organizer Ben Williams of the Cobb County chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference said Saturday’s event will be in solidarity with a national effort to unite civil rights groups and ask community members to stand together.
Williams said the acquittal of George Zimmerman is the newest example of the “great racial inequalities in our society.”
“Lady Justice is often times neither impartial, nor is she blind,” Williams said.
One purpose of the rally is to “communicate to young folk, especially young males of color” to be attentive and engaged with their environment so they are safe, Williams said.
Zimmerman’s attorneys used the argument of self defense to justify the use of deadly force.
One goal of the march in Marietta is to bring down similar laws in states around the country, including Georgia, according to Rich Pellegrino, director of the Cobb Immigrant Alliance.
Pellegrino said Saturday’s event will continue efforts by the Cobb Immigrant Alliance to register voters and recruit candidates for local elections in 2014.
Even though minorities in Cobb County are gaining in numbers, representatives at the highest levels are normally white, older men, Pellegrino said.
In order to reform policies that target racial minorities at all levels, the cultural diversity in the community must be reflected in the government, he added.
Years of struggle
Williams, who lives in Mableton and has been with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference since he was 13 years old, said the rally will help get youth involved with civil rights organizations that have been fighting for decades.
“There is no need to say, ‘when we were younger,’” Williams said. “There is a fresh, new example of injustice.”
It is important not to be disconnected, but engaged in efforts for change, Williams said, who walked in the Washington D.C. march on August 28, 1963, when Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered the “I Have a Dream” speech.
Williams said he has no idea how many people will join the efforts Saturday, but is extending an invitation to “friends across all races.”
A public release about the event said to “bring signs, hoodies, skittles and whatever other symbols you wish.”