This week people have taken to the streets in mass protests across the country, furious that George Zimmerman was acquitted after killing Trayvon Martin, a Black teenager in Florida. High school students in Seattle are moving this struggle forward by organizing their own rally on Tuesday, the 23rd, at 1:30 in front of the King County Courthouse. They are pointing out that Trayvon’s death is part of a racist system, the same system that denies them a meaningful education. By taking action they are learning through practice, and making history instead of just taking tests about it. They are also teaching the rest of us that this generation is tired of being imprisoned, miseducated, and gunned down. Like the prison hunger strikers, they are showing it is possible to come together across racial, communal, and neighborhood lines.
Here is the call to action they posted on their Facebook page:
We the youth are deciding to come together in solidarity to protest on the behalf of trayvon martin and against the other injustices of the system. We the youth of color are profiled by police, we are more likely to get arrested and go to jail then finish high school, and our families are scared for our safety. We are tired of every obstacle that stands in our way. We are looked down on as the minority but together we are the majority. We are asking for other youth and adults to come together in solidarity to help protest with us. Not just for trayvon martin but for other youth that may have lost their lives. All races, ages, and neighborhoods are welcome to come!! We were inspired by the strike at the California and the Green hill prisons and we participated in the rally at the King County prison.
It is significant that students are making connections between the West Coast prison hunger strikes and the struggle against racist vigilantes like Zimmerman, seeing both the prison system and violence by individual vigilantes as obstacles to their growth. I have been surprised that more people are not making these connections. One of the students involved in organizing this rally also did her own hunger strike last week, in solidarity with the striking prisoners.
One student also wrote:
Youth in my community are devastated about the many injustices of our system. people think that just because we are young we have no say or even care about what goes on in our justice system, we are labeled as a minority but together we are the majority. I believe that if we come together and make our voices heard we will make a bigger statement of how serious we really are. Treyvon Martin, john t Williams these are not the only injustices. if you want to stand up for human rights don’t be afraid to fight. There is going to be a cypher session and poetry will be read. This page is for youth to organize, adults we would like for you to stand with us because this is not over we demand justice. come support us justice for everyone.
Please spread the word, and if you can, please print out the flyer above and pass it out. Thanks!