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Chicagoans Protest Zimmerman Trial Verdict

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jul 15, 2013 1:45PM

Photo credit: Occupy Chicago

Several hundred people took to the streets of downtown Chicago Sunday to protest the not guilty verdict of Florida man George Zimmerman, who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last year. Martin was unarmed but Zimmerman's attorney's argued a fight ensued between him and Martin that left him no choice but to shoot the teen.

Protesters made parallels between Martin's death and that of Emmett Till, the Chicago teen murdered in Mississippi in 1955 while visiting family whose death was one of the foundations of the civil rights movement. Till's cousin, Airickca Gordon Taylor, said during the rally not much has changed.

“We’ve gone from approved killings in Mississippi in 1955 to approved killings in Florida in 2013,” said Airicka Gordon Taylor, the cousin of Till. “[Tilll’s] murder illuminated what was being done to blacks in 1955. Now with Trayvon Martin, it’s also another illumination. It’s demonstrating to our young people that your rights are being stripped away. It’s open season on black children.”

Taylor added that, just as Till's death helped spark the civil rights protests of the 1960s, Martin's death could spark a new call for civil rights.

“I believe this is the case that will . . . anger black America to do what’s necessary to obtain those rights that we’re being stripped of, just like when Emmet Till was murdered and there was a movement and we made progress.”