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200 attend west Charlotte Trayvon Martin rally

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
cwootson@charlotteobserver.com

Nearly 200 people attended a west Charlotte rally in honor of Trayvon Martin at Temple Church International as community leaders try to turn anger at the non-guilty verdict of George Zimmerman into an outpouring of activism.

Martin, 17, was unarmed when he was shot by Zimmerman during a struggle in the Florida subdivision where the teen’s father lived. Zimmerman’s attorneys argued that he fired in self-defense.

The case quickly took on racial overtones as it gained national attention. Martin was black. Zimmerman’s father is white and his mother is Peruvian.

A jury returned a not guilty verdict on Saturday, sparking protests and rallies across the nation, including in Charlotte.

“We all felt something when they said ‘not guilty,” said Bro. John Barnett, who organized the rally. “Something went through all of our hearts. Something went through our spirit.”

Thursday’s rally was used to notify attendees of other opportunities – large and small – to have an impact.

“We’ve got to have some real conversations with our young people,” said Dwayne Walker, the Pastor at Little Rock A.M.E. Zion Church. “Rather than just be mad, we’ve got to be active.”

Wootson: 704-358-5046; Twitter; @CleveWootson
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