The 'Dream Defenders' would defend us all
The 'stand your ground' law affects more than African Americans - it affects everyone.
Weeks have passed since George Zimmerman was acquitted of killing Trayvon Martin in mid-July, but a group of young activists known as the Dream Defenders only recently ended their occupation of the state capitol building in Tallahassee, where they called for a special session of the legislature to repeal Florida's so-called "stand your ground" (SYG) law, confront racial profiling, and end the school-to-prison pipeline.
They were right to do so for four main reasons:
- the "stand your ground" law is badly flawed, and the evidence is overwhelming;
- it was directly implicated in Zimmerman's acquittal, even though Zimmerman's lawyers did not explicitly invoke a "stand your ground" defence;
- the law highlights and intensifies the broader problems of racial profiling, and the criminalisation of minority youth;
- America badly needs a reborn civil rights movement, and the Dream Defenders are the perfect catalyst, like the Freedom Riders and the lunch counter sit-in protesters who played key roles at times when the Civil Rights Movement needed rejuvenation, and the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee, which played a key role organising young activists and putting them on the front lines of struggle.
Read the whole op-ed here.