Dream Defenders Score Victory against ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws
‘Stand Your Ground’ allows people in fear of serious injury to use deadly force to defend themselves rather than retreat. Present in 20 other states besides Florida, nearly four-in-five killings of black people where ‘Stand Your Ground’ has been invoked resulted in the killer being freed.
When most so-called activists have been waiting for something to happen beyond the protests for jobs in a country that is effectively under martial law, the Zimmerman-Martin case was not a part of the equation.
George Zimmerman’s acquittal on July 13, left Martin’s grieving parents, backed by African-American civic leaders, celebrities, students and political figures, including Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, Rev. Jesse Jackson, MSNBC’s Politics Nation host Rev. Al Sharpton, Harry Belafonte calling for a review of the laws.
Stevie Wonder announced that he would never perform in a state that upheld the ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws that led to the murder of Trayvon Martin, but most black artists valued a career not in their hands than the long battle for the average African American, a battle that has led to an upsurge of race-based violence by African-Americans and white Americans!
A group of student revolutionaries known as the Dream Defenders have occupied Florida’s Capitol building for the sixteenth day, refusing to leave until Gov. Rick Scott re-evaluates the state’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws according to USA today.
On July 18, the Dream Defenders met with Gov. Scott and demanded that he convene a special committee to re-evaluate the “Stand your Ground” law.
With the help of Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Dream Defenders held a mock session of the Florida Legislature they discussed the proposal “Trayvon’s Law:
- ethics training to reduce racial profiling by law enforcement
- The repeal of the “Stand your Ground” law
- The repeal of zero-tolerance in schools — which fuels a “school to prison” pipeline by expelling students for minor infractions
Will Weatherford, the speaker of Florida’s House of Representatives announced that Florida lawmakers will hold hearings this fall on the state’s “Stand Your Ground” Florida’s representatives have been inundated with calls, letters, visits and emails from constituents with diverse opinions, but Phillip Agnew, executive director of the Dream Defenders acknowledges this as a critical first step.
Jonel Edwards, a recent political science graduate and former president of the Dream Defenders chapter at the University of Florida, has spent every night but one inside the Capitol.
“Honestly, I came here thinking I was going to be here for one day,” she says, “and now it’s day 16. So I’m in it until we win.”
“A dream you dream alone is only a dream.
A dream you dream together is reality.” – John Lennon
“Florida lawmakers to revisit ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws after Zimmerman protests” rawstory.com/rs/2013/08/02/florida-lawmakers-to-revisit-stand-your-ground-laws-after-zimmerman-protests/
Savali K. Dream Defenders Score Victory: Florida Lawmakers to Review ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws http://newsone.com/2653371/dream-defenders/