Charlotte 'Justice for Trayvon' Rallies Gain Momentum

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by Audrina Bigos
Bio | Email | Follow: @AudrinaBigos by Photographer: Adam Stevens

CHARLOTTE, NC- An outcry from Trayvon Martin supporters can be heard around the country this weekend.

One week after George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the teen's murder, thousands rallied at federal buildings in more than 100 cities.

Organizers want to put pressure on the Department of Justice to investigate civil-rights charges.

In Charlotte, hundreds marched the streets of Uptown and held rallies at the Federal Courthouse.

For protesters, the Zimmerman case is over - but the fight for justice is not.

"Fighting against all of of this discrimination, racism and bigotry and all of these laws that are trying to take us back 150 years," said Rev. Kojo Nantambu, Charlotte NAACP president.

The Charlotte NAACP and supporters from the Forward Together movement met to march from Marshall Park to the courthouse to demand that federal charges be brought against Zimmerman.

Earlier on Saturday, True Healing Under God (T.H.U.G.) held a prayer vigil, which was encouraged nationally by The Rev. Al Sharpton, founder of the National Action Network.

Local volunteers are asking families to step up and take action. Cookie Williams, a local organizer, asked the audience "What do you think we need to do to move the agenda for justice forward?"

Many protesters say they came out to Saturday's rallies to have a positive, non-violent voice.

"I feel like I'm actually doing something - that could possibly save someone else's life," said Sharon West, a Salisbury resident.

The National Action Network organizers asked residents to step up in a national campaign against "Stand Your Ground" laws, voting rights and gun-violence issues.

"Don't look at this as a Florida issue, don't look at this as a black issue. This is an American issue," said Tenoia Wheeler, a North Charlotte resident.

A week after  Zimmerman was found not guilty on charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter, there's a clear message from protestors in Charlotte.

"We're going to keep showing up until the law is changed. we're going to keep showing up and we're not going to forget. if we have to come out next week, we will be out here," said Cheryll Jackson, a Matthews resident.

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