Friday, March 23, 2012

Rally for Trayvon Martin

... will be tomorrow at Cleveland Park in Greenville, South Carolina, at 3pm.

Everyone is invited, and Greenville Occupiers will be there in force.

Some background from WYFF:

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- The outcry over the shooting death of a 17-year-old in Florida has spread across the country, including the Upstate.

Police said Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer. Zimmerman claims the shooting was self-defense.

A 911 call recorded Zimmerman saying he was following Trayvon, despite a police dispatcher telling him not to. Martin was unarmed, and was carrying only a package of Skittles and a can of tea that he had just purchased at a store. Traci Fant, CEO of, lives in Greenville. She has a son who is 16, and she said he goes to the store around the corner from their home all the time.

"I think it put a little fear in him, the thought of the whole thing," Fant said.

The mission of Fant's nonprofit group is to get teens to think before they act. She said she's been keeping an eye on what going on in Florida, and it bothers her.

"God just kept telling me to move on it," she said. "So I started called people and asking people if they wanted to do it."

Fant is organizing a rally at 3 p.m. Saturday in Greenville. "We care," she said. "We care about Trayvon and his family. It symbolizes our children. We really want to send the message that South Carolina cares about what happens around the world."

Fant has the support from other people in the community, including Greenville City Councilwoman Jil Littlejohn. "It could have happened in Greenville -- or it could have happened in any other city across the nation," Littlejohn said.
Indeed, it could have, since South Carolina also has a "Stand Your Ground" law, similar to the one in Florida.

The SC AFL-CIO calls for justice for Trayvon's family and stands with Rep. Sellers to repeal South Carolina's "Stand Your Ground Law.":
COLUMBIA, SC: As the country attempts to understand the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, the SC AFL-CIO calls for justice for Trayvon's family and supports Rep. Bakari Sellers' proposed bill to repeal the “stand your ground” provision of South Carolina’s “Protection of Persons and Property Act” enacted in 2006.

"We have long had laws on the books that allowed for legitimate self defense," said SC AFL-CIO Vice President Ken Riley. "These new laws are being used by vigilantes to excuse frontier justice against unarmed people. People of color have a deadly serious reason to fear that this law provides bigots an excuse to shoot somebody as their first option to resolve a problem."

The state's "stand your ground" clause was recently used in the defense of a white Spartanburg home owner who shot a homeless man who was squatting in a vacant house for sale. District Solicitor Barry Barnette said the shooting was justified under the "stand your ground" provision of the state law. "Obviously, your have a right to defend your property," Barnette told the Spartanburg Herald Journal about the shooting.

The SC AFL-CIO believes these unnecessary laws conflict with its commitment to equal rights and due process for all citizens. "These new laws have no place on the books of a society that considers itself civilized," Riley said.

The SC AFL-CIO supports Rep. Sellers’ bill that would strike the section the statute that states, “A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in another place where he has a right to be, including, but not limited to, his place of business, has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if he reasonably believes it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily injury to himself or another person to prevent the commission of a violent crime as defined in Section 16-1-60."
We will be discussing these issues on my radio show tomorrow morning at 9am, WFIS, 1600AM and/or 94.9FM in upstate South Carolina. And give us a call! Studio phone line: 864-228-WFIS which is also 864-228-9347. To listen via your phone: 724-444-7444, Call ID: 112747#

This gives us a chance to chow down at the Coach House right after the show, and then we will be making our way down to Cleveland Park. I am hoping to meet some of you there.


West said...

Why would the AFL-CIO, a labor union organization, be involved in this tragic event?

DaisyDeadhead said...

Why isn't everyone?

West said...

True. But they have a word for those that want to revoke the "stand your ground" law... it's "victim"...
Good post by the way.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Not surprisingly, I guess we hang around in different circles. The word *we* have for people who want to keep the law is VIGILANTE.

Conseglieri said...

I don't think that the "stand your ground" law fits this situation at all. Ken Riley's point is that South Carolina already permitted a home owner to protect their lives, health and property with lethal force, but one had to be prepared to prove that they were doing that. These "stand your ground" laws are "shoot now and let God sort it out" laws, and put the demand that the dead person somehow prove that they were not a threat.

The membership of the International Longshoreman's Association is predominantly Black, and since many of their members are former convicts this sort of issue is especially important to them.

West said...

Thank you Conseglieri for both of your informative paragraphs.

I agree with your first paragraph in toto. I don't think this current situation fits at all either. And I am not for the vigilante at all either, this situation could have been avoided in so so many ways. And Daisy, I don't look at vigilantes as those that want to keep the law- more like one that wants to dole out unjust punishment for whatever percieved crime has or has not been committed.

I really enjoy this sight- as I don't watch the news channels at all- I have several sights I peruse for infotainment- this is one of the better ones.