Apr 9, 2012 1 Comment ›› Pat Dollard
Excperted from Click Orlando: – A group of students protesting the Trayvon Martin shooting on Monday blocked the entrance to the Sanford Police Department by kneeling in front of the doors, forcing the department to close.
No arrests have been made in the Monday protest, which comes a day after the students, who call themselves the Dream Defenders, completed a 40-mile, three-day march from Daytona Beach to Sanford, where Martin, 17, was shot and killed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in late February.
City officials and members of the U.S. Department of Justice were observing the demonstration, which consisted of a handful of students — some wearing hoodies — blocking the entrance, with dozens of others standing nearby.
“The city of Sanford hopes the actions of the students will be as peaceful and orderly as the previous rallies and marches have been,” said city manager Norton Bonaparte, Jr. “We want to be accommodating to all our visitors proving they act in a manner that is respectful to the people of the city.”
Officials said the closing will have a minimal effect on police and fire responses to emergency calls. Citizens who need to do routine police business can go to Sanford City Hall to see a representative at the city clerk’s office.
On Sunday night, the nearly 50 students made a call for non-violent civil disobedience while speaking at the Allen Chapel AME Church in Sanford.
The students demanded Zimmerman’s arrest, an overhaul of the justice system and the ouster of elected officials.
“Do you know who (your elected officials) are?” asked Dream Defender and Florida A&M student, Ciara Taylor. “I bet you do now. I bet you didn’t know they would stand by idly while George Zimmerman has been on the loose for 40 days.”
Martin’s mom, Sybrina Fulton, spoke to the students via cellphone.
“This is not only about Trayvon, this is about your future as well, and we just want to say thank you. We really appreciate you,” said Fulton.