Hundreds entered their third day of a round-the-clock sit-in at Florida Governor Rick Scott's office Thursday to honor Trayvon Martin's life and demand overhaul of the state's controversial 'Stand Your Ground' law and the racism that underlies it.
Organizers say their numbers have doubled since they launched the sit-in on "Takeover Tuesday."
The protesters, who are with the Dream Defenders—an organization of African American and Latino youth working to transform system-wide inequality—are peacefully occupying the governor's office waving signs that read "I am human" and "3/5 No More" and wearing shirts declaring "The Next Emmett Till."
Hundreds of students, some as young as nine years old, are gathered to convince state lawmakers to pass the “Trayvon Martin Act.” The bill would address racial profiling, “Stand Your Ground” laws and school-to-prison pipeline issues — “the three pillars that led to George Zimmerman getting away with killing Trayvon Martin,” said Dream Defender Philip Agnew on a media call.
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Despite the ongoing occupation of his office—one of numerous passionate protests for racial justice across the US in the wake of the George Zimmerman trial—the Florida governor has somehow found a way to avoid these protesters, responding with a flat "no" to their demands that he meet with them.
"The governor has not yet arrived so apparently this isn't a priority of his," Steven Pargett told the AP Wednesday. "This is a huge priority of ours. This is the largest priority that we have and it's not just us ... So we're here and we'll wait and we'll wait."
"We are here to honor the memory of Trayvon Martin and pay respects to his family," reads a group statement about the office occupation. "This tragedy serves as a vivid reminder of the pain felt by our communities, in which we are profiled, criminalized and targeted."
"We are here because Trayvon can't be."