February 26—One Year Since the Vigilante Murder of Trayvon Martin

We Are All Still Trayvon! Take to the Streets!

by Carl Dix | January 22, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


February 26 is one year since the vigilante murder of Trayvon Martin—one year since George Zimmerman saw Trayvon, a 17-year-old wearing a hoodie, and decided this Black youth "…must be up to no good." One year since Zimmerman followed Trayvon and gunned him down. One year since the Sanford, Florida, cops walked Zimmerman into and out of the police station letting him go free, citing Florida's racist "Stand Your Ground" law. Only after powerful outpourings of protest spread all across the country was Zimmerman re-arrested and charged for his crime.

THIS ANNIVERSARY MUST BE MARKED BY POWERFUL OUTPOURINGS ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY! The Stop Mass Incarceration Network has called for everyone who hates the way Black and Latino youth are treated as less than human to take their outrage to the streets in cities and towns across the country at 4 pm on February 26.

Before this murder, almost no one outside Sanford, Florida, knew who Trayvon was. But everyone felt the sting of his murder. It reminded many people of the bull's-eye this society has long placed on the backs of Black youth. This sentiment drove millions into the streets filled with rage. Wearing hoodies and having bags of Skittles became symbols of resistance.

Trayvon wasn't the first one to be murdered like this, and he hasn't been the last. Emmett Till was lynched in 1954 in Money, Mississippi, for supposedly whistling at a white woman. Jordan Davis was murdered in Jacksonville, Florida, by a white man who said Jordan's music was too loud last November 23. That killer fled the scene and only later turned himself in, claiming he was "standing his ground" against a Black youth armed with a shotgun that no one has ever found. This is like declaring it's open season on Black youth. WE HAVE TO STAND UP ON FEBRUARY 26 AND SAY WE WON'T ACCEPT THIS IN SILENCE!

Trayvon could've been any Black youth. He could've been my nephew, or your brother, cousin or son. The racial profiling that led to his murder is the same thing that has led to almost 2.4 million people, most of them Black or Latino, being warehoused in prisons in the U.S.—more than any other country in the world. It's the same thing that has led to 100's of killings by police every year in this country, with almost all the killer cops getting away without being punished. The backdrop for all this is the way generations of youth are growing up in inner cities across this country with no hope for the future—no jobs to survive or raise families and confronting an education system geared to fail them. Trayvon's murder, and how the cops dealt with it, is rooted in the way this society criminalizes Black and Latino youth, treating them as guilty until proven innocent, if they survive to prove their innocence.


It is racist, unjust, and illegitimate for the authorities to give racist vigilantes and killer cops a green light to murder our youth like their lives are worthless. It must stop, and it will take our determined action to stop it! Trayvon's parents courageously stood up and called for justice for their murdered son. We must match their courage and determination in taking to the streets on the anniversary of his murder.

On that day if you are somebody who wants to see a better future for the youth, you must defiantly protest the way this system criminalizes them. Young people must be out in the streets—youth who were hurt to their hearts to hear of his murder and reminded of the target this society puts on their backs; youth who cried, "We are all Trayvon," must be right up front in doing this.

Pour into the streets in cities and towns all across the country and BLOW THE WHISTLE ON ALL THIS! Demand that Black and Latino youth not be treated as fair game for police and racist vigilantes; demand that their humanity be recognized. Wear hoodies on that day! Mobilize at your schools, in your neighborhoods, at your workplaces and everywhere else. This is the kind of resistance that's needed to show we will accept nothing less than justice for Trayvon and to take on all the abuse the criminal injustice system heaps on Black and Latino people.

It's up to us to demand an end to these kinds of horrors, and to act to make sure they end. Come together nationwide and say in one loud, clear, and united voice: NO MORE!



Carl Dix is a representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party and a leader in the movement to Stop Mass Incarceration.

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