The civil rights leader told supporters in New York on Saturday that organizers would hold a series of nonviolent protests calling for the arrest of the crime watch volunteer who confronted the unarmed black teenager because he thought he looked “suspicious,” and then shot him.
“We are all over this country preparing for a series of waves of civil disobedience,” Sharpton said Saturday. “We are going to be hitting multiple cities with non-violent protests at the time.”
The shooter, George Zimmerman, claimed he acted in self-defense and has not been charged.
“It is important that we have sustained indignation,” Sharpton said. “This is not where we are going to show that we are angry and go back home.”
Sharpton called it a “paradox” that the country could elect a black man president, but still view young black men with suspicion simply because they don a hooded sweat shirt, like the one Martin was wearing when he was killed.
“It’s time for us to stop and straighten this out once and for all,” Sharpton said.
Earlier this week, a “Million Hoodie March” was held in Union Square.
Those at the rally, which included Occupy Wall Street protesters, said they were standing against stereotypes of black men who wear hooded sweatshirts.
“The stereotype is that they’re dangerous, that they’re up to no good and that they’re generally a bad person,” said demonstrator Eva Haldane.
Friday night, New York Knicks star Amar’e Stoudemire wore a gray hoodie during early warm ups, a sign of support for Martin’s family. He said later that he hopes something positive will come from the tragedy.
On Sunday, worshippers, clergy and choir members will wear hoodies at a service at Middle Collegiate Church in honor or Martin.
The sermon will urge congregants to sign online petitions, and to post online photos of themselves and their friends wearing hoodies.
The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division has opened a civil rights probe into the shooting and the Seminole County State Attorney in Florida has said a grand jury will meet April 10 to consider evidence in the case.
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