21 Aug 2014
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Norwalk Rallies to Support Trayvon Martin [VIDEO]

A march was organized from Calvary Baptist Church, through the streets of South Norwalk, to the steps of Grace Baptist Church in a show of solidarity for the slain teen.

Here's one version of the in Florida that have gripped the nation: An unarmed teenager was gunned down on the streets of Sanford, FL, and the gunman walks free. He is not in custody and no charges have been pressed.

The gunman, a town watch member, notified the authorities of a suspicious-looking individual in his neighborhood. He was informed not to confront the individual. The 28-year-old man armed himself and ignored the instructions of the 911 operator. The .

On Saturday afternoon, Norwalk residents took to their streets in a show of solidarity with those suffering in Sanford.

"I'm here as an individual," said the Rev. Kenneth DuBose of , "to take advantage of the opportunity to responsibly participate in raising the local awareness for justice. I wanted to play a positive role in contributing to what I believe is important to me as an individual and to Norwalk as a readily responsible community and city."   

The march, organized by the Rev. Nellie Mann of the and president and founder of the Heart-to-Heart Foundation, began at Calvary and traveled through the streets of the city, a full police escort in tow.

Traffic was tied up for about 15 minutes, but none of those waiting for the parade to pass seemed to mind. As chants asking for immediate justice filled the streets and echoed off the buildings of downtown Norwalk, cars beeped their horns as drivers yelled messages of support to those marching.

People leaned out windows and exited stores to watch the group move through town, cheering and taking photos. By the end of the march, at least 100 people had joined the ranks.

One question on many minds in the wake of the shooting is: Why has so little been done?

Martin is black. The man who shot him to death, George Zimmerman, is Hispanic—and he still walks free, facing no charges and wearing no prison jumpsuit.

It of the individuals involved has lead to a greater display of media coverage, but the and the individuals from whom it comes suggest otherwise.

Martin's death on February 26, 2012, has ignited a national movement. Zimmerman still walks free. He has gunned down an unarmed teen and yet faces no charges based on Florida's "Stand Your Ground" laws.

Many believe the issue is one of race. Those marching declared similar beliefs, but wanted to make clear the message about justice isn't. While the consensus seemed to be that the fact that Martin was black lead to a lack of effort on the initial police response, this wasn't about justice for a black teen.

"I'm a Vietnam vet, a cancer survivor and an ordained minister," said James Bullock, who marched through the streets bringing up the rear, leaning on a cane, a small posse around him for support. "This was an unjustified murder. This march, all the marches you've seen, is a message to the nation and the world, really. This is not about a black life. This is about a human life. It's time for this nonsense to stop."

It could be easy for a group this size to turn angry, to allow hate to overcome them and seek blood in exchange for blood. Mann explained that wasn't the purpose of the day.

"We find ourselves outraged, but this is not about violence," she said. "We don't hate [Zimmerman.] We still love him. We hate what he's done. I say to him, turn yourself in."

It wasn't about anger at a man. It was about anger at an idea.

“This march today means to me unity and justice for all,” said Mann.

Those marching arrived at to find Mayor Richard Moccia and Police Chief Harry Rilling waiting for them to join them for the service.

"It shows we as a city can march peacefully for unity and equality," said Rilling. "Id like to make my feelings known that we demand justice. What we know right now is what we don't know. We want information, fairness. Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere, in the words fo Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr."

During service, DuBose gave a name to the day and noted the day's significance on the Christian calendar. 

"We've graduated from 'We shall overcome,' " he said. "Today is Hell Saturday, and I'm not smiling. A brother and God's own son have been killed. In the Bible it's Hell Saturday and in Norwalk it's Hell Saturday."

Mann thanks them for their presence several tims throughout the day, and beemed with pride at her when asked how she felt about her community's willingness to come together.

"We know our mayor, our police force is behind us 100-percent," she said. "They're wonderful and have always supported us. We love them and respect them and they, the same for us. We have a lot of unity and they want what we want. Justice."

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