The “not guilty” verdict delivered to George Zimmerman quickly became both infamous and viral, sparking a variety of outcries and debates on the internet, public news outlets, and other media. Despite some polarization, the majority of public outcry is in disagreement with the acquittal. Twitter quickly showed its distaste with the verdict, with #nojustice and #justicefortrayvon trending heavily the day of the announcement; in fact, 31% of the tweets pertaining to the trial in the 26 hour period after the verdict was delivered expressed “anger.” Considering that there were about 5 million tweets during that time period, it’s safe to say that that’s a lot of angry people.
The surge of anger and thirst for justice did not ebb afterwards, though; the demand for Zimmerman’s punishment and Trayvon’s justice is still going strong, as demonstrated by the nearly 101 vigils being held across the country today. According to the official website for these vigils, communities across the country have joined together in solidarity to both honor Trayvon’s memory and to incite action so that justice might be brought to the case. They demand that the Justice Department make an investigation into the civil rights violations transgressed against Trayvon by Zimmerman.
These nationwide vigils have included a variety of supporters, including a few famous faces, such as Jay-Z and Beyonce. Trayvon’s parents are also attending the demonstrations, with Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s father, attending a vigil in Miami, and Sybrina Martin, Trayvon’s mother, attending another in New York City. Rallies urged participants to join in on a larger march set to take place on August 27, which will take place in Washington, meant to be similar to the famous 1964 march led by Martin Luther King Jr.
The rallies remained remarkably peaceful throughout the day’s proceedings, and have no doubt incited a new chapter in the history of civil rights in the United States; if the Justice Department does incite an investigation into the case, a world of possibilities and opportunities would open up for the advancement of civil rights in the United States.