GMO Continuing Coverage: Hundreds Gather in Chicago for Trayvon Martin and Other Victims of Violence

Tuesday, 27 March 2012 20:55 Written by  Essence McDowell

On Saturday afternoon, hundreds of demonstrators rallied in Chicago for the second day in a row to call for justice in the killing of Trayvon Martin and to show support for the Martin Family.

Trayvon, a 17-year-old high school student was gunned down on Feb. 26, while walking through a gated community in Sanford, Fla. Self-appointed neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman, claimed the teenager looked “suspicious” and was said to have shot and killed him in self-defense.

One month after Travyon’s death, his alleged assailant has yet to be arrested. Chicagoans are outraged at what many are calling another example of racism in the nation’s justice system.

During Saturday’s protests, parallels were drawn between Trayvon and the historic case of Chicago’s own Emmett Till, the 14-year-old murdered in 1955 after whistling at a white woman in Mississippi.


Airicka Gordon Taylor, (pictured) cousin of Emmett Till, read a statement on behalf of the Emmett Till family.

“We seek justice for Trayvon Martin,” Airicka read. “We realize justice won’t bring him back, but it will make sure his death was not in vain.”


Amongst the speakers in attendance was Darby Tillis, the first of 18 men freed from Illinois’ Death Row after being wrongly convicted. Darby spoke of 22-year-old Rekia Boyd killed by an off duty Chicago police officer and Ramarley Graham killed by New York Police officers. He acknowledged racism as the cause behind the crimes of hate and offered a solution of love and forgiveness.

“We have to come together and say enough is enough,” he says. “We need more love and we need to learn forgiveness.  If you learn to love you don’t have to carry pistols or knives.”

Other speakers like Malcolm London, 18, pointed out that the gun violence stemmed beyond the murder of Trayvon Martin, into a nation-wide epidemic that has deeply impacted the city of Chicago.

Last week was said to be one of the most violent weekends in Chicago in recent history. At least 10 people were killed and 40 others wounded. This is in addition to the CBS reports details 100 black teenagers have been killed by gun violence in Chicago this past year.

During the protests, a group of three little girls attending the rally carried skittles and iced tea drinks, the same items that were found on Trayvon Martin after his death.

Former Chicago Alderman Dorothy Tillman (3rd) directed her words to the youth.

“It was young people who stood for the movement with Dr. King and it will be young people who move this movement forward,” she says. “If they don’t fight back they will get picked off one by one.”

The demonstration that began at Daley Plaza, ended after protesters marched through Chicago’s downtown Loop to Wrigley Square in Millennium Park. The rally’s host and activist with Occupy Chicago, Anton Ford, ended the event with a call to action. The next demonstration will take place Monday in acknowledgement of the one month anniversary of Trayvon’s death and will begin at 5 p.m. in front of the city’s federal building.


Washington, DC and Columbia, South Carolina held rallies in support of Trayvon Martin over the weekend similar to Chicago's, and one is scheduled for Monday, March 25, in Sanford, Florida. For more coverage and breaking news on this case, visit CNN. Also, as news breaks, please posts links and videos in the comments section below. Let's continue the conversation––and the education.

The above image of the rally is by Timothy Christian. The other images were taken by the author.

Essence McDowell

Essence McDowell

Essence McDowell is a freelance writer for GlossMagazineOnline and recent graduate of the Masters in Journalism program at DePaul University.

She can be contacted at