Monday, July 22, 2013

Trayvon Martin Protest in Oakland

This past Saturday I was assigned by Reuters to photograph a rally protesting the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial in Oakland, California. Protesters were upset with the not guilty verdict of the killing of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.   The rally was one over over 100 nationwide.  The news was followed around the world.
In the week following the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial Oakland had faced daily protests and a small group had taken advantage to incite violence downtown.  Many windows had been broken and some people, including a newspaper photographer, attacked.  On one of the series of plywood covered windows broken downtown during the protests, a mural to Trayvon had been erected.
Despite worries of violence the protest was peaceful and emotional for all those involved.
That largest outcry was when Oakland Mayor Jean Quan was shouted down by several in the crowd when she tried to address them.
But in the end it was a inclusive rally that showed a community coming together to show their displeasure with the Trayvon verdict.
And after a candlelight vigil at Lake Merritt as the sun set, it was clear that the pain and anger caused by the verdict would not be easily healed.

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