Just one month after the death of Trayvon Martin, the city of Sanford, FL is now part of the Internet's global consciousness, and it is probably a consequence that the city's leaders had no idea would happen. But in the world of new media, where news is socially shared, dissected, forwarded and consumed in clicks, tweets, and status updates, this is no longer a story for just a few reporters and television networks.
Tonight at a city commissioners meeting (once a place reserved for mundane municipal issues), Martin's family, accompanied by civil rights leaders, politicians, and supporters, delivered what they said were over 2 million signatures and demanded that the city arrest George Zimmerman, the man who shot Martin on February 26.
"The whole world is watching Sanford," Jackson said. "The whole world is watching Florida today."
A line of speakers, including U.S.
Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, and U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, echoed Jackson's message. The Rev. Al Sharpton delivered a petition he said had 2 million signatures on it demanding Zimmerman's arrest.
Sharpton said the following: "You are risking going down as the Birmingham and Selma of the 21st century." In addition, other speakers called to a repeal of Florida's Stand Your Ground law, and according to the Sentinel, the city's commissioners did not take any action, but Mayor Jeff Triplett said that another public comment meeting will happen in two weeks. The Sentinel reported that Triplett said, "We are in the pursuit of truth and justice."
The newspaper also reported comments made by Martin's father, Tracy Martin, and mother, Sybrina Fulton:
"We're not asking for an eye for an eye. We're asking for justice, justice, justice," Tracy Martin said.
"I know I cannot bring my baby back," Fulton said. "But I'm sure going to make changes so that this doesn't happen to another family."
The Sentinel also reported that Martin family attorney Natalie Jackson made note that tonight's crowd outside the meeting was peaceful and nonviolent: "If you are not here to be in peace, you are not welcome."