Trayvon Martin Rallies Set; Organizers 'Guarantee' No Violence


By Jessica Gertler

From Montgomery -- Two rallies are scheduled in front of the State Capitol on Saturday to protest the not-guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman Trial, but an organizer of one of the events say city officials are trying to stop him from having it.

"There are some people in Montgomery that do not want us to have a rally for Trayvon Martin," says Ja'Mel Brown. 

Brown is organizing an event this Saturday called I am Trayvon Martin Peace Rally. He's asking folks to come out wearing hoodies and to bring skittles and Arizona Iced Tea. Trayvon Martin was coming home from a store in Sanford, Florida, where he bought those items when he was killed last year.

Brown is expecting a thousand people from across the sate to turn up to let their voices be heard: the violence needs to stop.

"We are having a peaceful demonstration of unity, love and promoting justice and equality," says Brown.

But Brown says law enforcement are afraid his event will become violent like some of the protests across the country have like the one in Oakland, California where dozens vandalized cars and started street fires.

Brown says he thinks people are trying to suppress him,"especially some of the officers at MPD."

Brown says police have told him that he and others will be arrested if there is violence.

We did reach out to Montgomery Police to ask them about the rallies. They say no one was available for an interview. The police department says it does not anticipate any issues, but if any should arise, law enforcement will respond accordingly.

Mayor Todd Strange was available for a comment.

"We will have adequate, abundant police protection, but the word: caution. Let's come to do the demonstration in a peaceful way," says Strange.

"Why would we want to have a violent demonstration when we have kids and elderly coming to this movement," says Brown.

The NAACP is also organizing a rally this Saturday at the State Capitol at noon to try to get the federal government to charge Zimmerman. Brown says while the city and the NAACP have asked him to combine the events, he wants to keep them separate, because the two events stand for different things. 

I am Trayvon Martin Peace Rally will start at 3 p.m. Saturday. Organizers say the keynote speaker will be Representative Alvin Holmes of Montgomery, and there will be music, dancing and prayer.

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