“No justice, no peace!” chanted a large group of people in the streets of Hunts Point, Monday night, unsatisfied with the jury’s decision on declaring George Zimmerman not guilty of the shooting of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin.
The south Bronx community paid their respects for Trayvon Martin’s death by taking over the streets of Hunts Point. They expressed their thoughts about the jury’s decision and their feelings on how they can relate to this case.
The crowd began walking and taking over one car lane, holding candles and flyers, but soon took over both lanes, causing major traffic.
People began chanting, “Off the sidewalk and into the street!,” to encourage more people to join the march and they did.
People who were holding bullhorns shouted to those in cars and trucks. They chanted, “honk your horns for Trayvon! Honk your horns for Trayvon!” and many cars and trucks honked their horns continuously and some even shouted, “justice for Trayvon Martin,” out their car window.
Lisa Ortega, a Hispanic mother and grandmother, attended the march and said this meant a lot to her. She then added by saying, “I’m tired of this system.”
Monique Price Peterson, a mother of 6 male children, said she attended the march because of her sons. She said Trayvon Martin’s case makes her worry and says she is afraid to let her children go out into the streets.
She then discussed an unjust circumstance that took place not so long ago. “I live in a shelter,” Ms. Peterson said.
“And, my son got arrested unjustly this one time.” Ms. Peterson then added and said that one day her older son was exiting the building where they live and was coming outside to give Ms. Peterson her medicine because she is epileptic.
Without reason, police arrested Ms. Peterson’s son because they thought he was doing something “illegal.” Ms. Peterson said they had no right to arrest her son and sued the police department and as a result, she and her son won the case.
“We won the case because they knew they were wrong,” she said.
“Everything is a race issue, you know,” Ms. Peterson said, “We have a right to defend ourselves.”
When asked what she thought about the verdict on George Zimmerman, Ms.Peterson said she was “not satisfied.” She said she believes George Zimmerman should have been found guilty because he killed Trayvon Martin.
“They should have just looked at him as a human being,” she said, when talking about whether she thinks the case was a race issue. According to Ms. Peterson, whether it was a race issue or not, she believes George Zimmerman should have been found guilty.
Claudia De la Cruz, a 32 year old woman, took a moment to thank and talk to the people attending the march. She began by chanting, “Ain’t no power like the power of the people, cause the power of the people don’t stop.” The crowd then followed and began chanting as well.
“The system makes us doubt people,” she said, when talking about several cases where she found the verdict “unjust.”
Ms. De La Cruz then said, “We have the power.”
According to Ms. De La Cruz, she’s happy that on that one day, everyone from different races gathered around. “That’s what a community is,” she said.
The crowd then sang a song in honor of Trayvon Martin’s death, created by one of the protestors.
Although there were several police cars surrounding the march, due to there being a great number of people taking over the streets, there were no arrests.
The South Bronx community hopes their peaceful protest makes a difference. “I want a better world, starting in our neighborhood,” Ms. De La Cruz said.