Hundreds rally in Tampa Bay as part of "Justice for Trayvon" day

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Rallies for Trayvon Martin are being held Saturday nationwide as part of Rev. Al Sharpton's national "Justice for Trayvon Day." Tampa is one of 100 cities nationwide participating, where a vigil is scheduled outside the federal courthouse at noon.

There are also rallies going on in St. Petersburg and Sarasota.

The rallies are intended to press the federal government to investigate civil rights charges against Zimmerman.

Rallies were also throughout the area on Friday. Around 5 p.m., a group gathered in downtown Tampa outside the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Later in the evening, more than 100 people showed up for a rally in Vinoy Park in downtown St. Petersburg. Organizer, Jantia Lofton, said the message was both "unity and justice."

"I tell people we're all Trayvon Martins. We all have a responsibility within ourselves to do right," said Lofton. ""No matter what your skin color is, your background, your culture, your nationality, it really doesn't matter. The thing is we're all one. There's only one race and that's the human race."

Michael Bryant, a local pastor and author, was the keynote speaker.

"I have sons and I want my sons to see their sons," Bryant told the crowd. "Trayvon Martin is the first person in American history to go on trial for his own murder."

After the rally, participants marched to City Hall to encourage people to register to vote.

On Friday, President Barack Obama said "Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago." It was the first time he has addressed the issue live since George Zimmerman was acquitted.

 

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