Peaceful vigils in Mpls. show support for Trayvon Martin

9:39 PM, Jul 14, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - In response to Saturday's George Zimmerman verdict, people of all faiths came to the Shir Tikvah synagogue in south Minneapolis with collective heartbreak on Sunday.

A crowd of more than 100 people brought reflections of racism and fairness into the house of healing, singing "We Shall Overcome."

Demonstrations broke out across the country in support of the family of Trayvon Martin family.

Protestors called for federal civil rights charges against Zimmerman, who was acquitted Saturday in Martin's February 2012 shooting death. In Minneapolis and across the nation, many question what has long been sacred -- a legal system and justice for all.

"And so tonight is an invitation to turn that anger into righteous indignation," said senior rabbi Michael Latz.

Latz encouraged his neighbors to break down barriers, beginning on their street.    

"Break out into a circle of compassion that is so wide it is seen in every town and in every city, in every hamlet and in every 7-11 store where young men buy skittles at 11 o'clock at night," said Latz.

A crowd of 1,000 people is expected to demonstrate in Minneapolis Monday night for the #HoodiesUp for Trayvon rally, planned at the Hennepin County government plaza at 6 p.m. The event has a Facebook page.

"I think the largest emotion people are feeling is hurt and heartbreak," said organizer Mel Reeves.

Reeves says Minneapolis protestors will ask Zimmerman be prosecuted under a federal civil rights law and will also ask for prosecution of the Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed Terrance Franklin in May.

"It feels like the system doesn't work, maybe we do live in a racist country," said Mel Reeves.  "It is almost as if the broader community and really the state is sending a message to black folks. Maybe we are second class citizens. And that is not true."

The #HoodiesUp rally will be a peaceful protest.  Reeves says organizers are asking people to wear a hoodie or a black armband  for Trayvon Martin and other youth of color criminalized in the legal justice system.

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