By Patch Editor Jessica Mazzola
Driving along Ridge Road or Macarthur Boulevard Tuesday night, locals likely saw a group of several dozen protestors armed with signs, bags of Skittles and bottles of iced tea. The group had one message – peaceful demonstration in light of the recent Not Guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman case will bring about awareness in the community.
Demonstrators gathered at the busy intersection at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday carrying signs with sayings like, “I am Trayvon Martin,” and “This is not a black or white thing, it’s a right or wrong thing,” written on them. The group then went into the 7-Eleven to buy Skittles and iced tea, the items Trayvon Martin reportedly went out to buy right before he was shot and killed.
The protestors then marched to town hall, where they held a discussion and community prayer.
Pamela Davis, a 2006 Mahwah High School graduate, organized the demonstration.
“This started on social networks, like everything does,” she told Patch.
“After [Zimmerman’s] verdict came out, there was a lot of anger and division, and I saw angry comments all over social networks. And, I thought there has to be a way to peacefully bring unity back to the community.”
She organized the event by using online and social media platforms to send a call out to friends and residents in Mahwah.
“Nothing can ever bring Trayvon back, but we can bring awareness, and educate people about racism, gun laws, and registering to vote. We can get Mahwah to talk about these issues.”
The registered nurse who now lives in Hackensack said she felt her hometown was a good place to host the rally because of the number of people in Mahwah who were commenting that they felt they could relate to Trayvon Martin.
“There are so many people who feel this could have been me, or my brother or my son,” she said. “I’ve walked up and down this street to this 7-Eleven so many times. It could have been any one of us trying to walk home and potentially never getting there. We are trying to turn those [feelings] into something positive.”