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Mahwah Residents Rally in Memory of Trayvon Martin

A few dozen residents held signs up on the side of the street, purchased Skittles and iced tea, and marched to town hall Tuesday.

Residents carried signs in a Trayvon Martin rally in Mahwah Tuesday.
Residents carried signs in a Trayvon Martin rally in Mahwah Tuesday.

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.”

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tiredofit July 17, 2013 at 08:15 AM
Here we go. I guess the entire Sanford P.D. is prejudice because they chose not to charge Zimmerman in the first place. Then the entire jury is just as prejudice because they found him innocent. And of course Martin Luther King went around with pics of guns on his facebook and beating up Hispanics, oh, im sorry, he is now a "White Hispanic", but is Obama a "white african american" because he is just as mixed as Zimmerman? Of course not. And isn't it funny how the people who depend on our government the most are the ones who despise it the most ? Please just stop.
Pam Lorraine July 17, 2013 at 09:38 AM
wonderful coverage Jessica. --Pamela
Kim July 17, 2013 at 09:54 AM
I wish the people demonstrating against the jury's decision would answer this question: "What are you protesting?" Are they protesting our system of trial by jury? Would they prefer mob rule? Do they know the jury decided the case based upon "self defense" and not "stand your ground"? No one knows what happened that night. No one knows who started the altercation. We do know the evidence brought forth by expert, professional witnesses (even those witnesses provided by the prosecution) proved Zimmerman was attacked and used his weapon in self defense. The jury found the evidence provided to be consistent with Zimmerman's statements and injuries. The FBI investigated Z and determined he is not a racist. The DOJ now wants to waste our tax dollars to push this case further and has set up a website asking for tips from anyone to prove Z is a racist. If the DOJ has such a strong case for pursuing this, why do they need "tips" from the general public? It is heartbreaking that a young man died on that fateful night. Perhaps we should be teaching our children not to start physical altercations. Perhaps we should be teaching our children to use their words instead of their fists. Perhaps we should be teaching our children there is no reason to attack someone because they said something that made you mad. These are all lessons I was taught as a child and those lessons have served me very well throughout my life. These are lessons I passed on to my children and I hope it will serve them well and help to make this world a better place.
AP July 17, 2013 at 10:20 AM
Well said Kim.
Mahwah Rules! July 17, 2013 at 10:30 AM
They are protesting the laws. According to the laws, he was innocent. According to human decency, he was utterly wrong to pursue an innocent, unarmed individual while specifically ignoring the recommendations of a 911 operator. He was a gun-toting, police wannabe vigilante. Also, the prosecution overreached. They should've known murder 2 would not stick - especially not in Florida.
TheresTheDoor July 17, 2013 at 02:04 PM
Andre, the comment you wrote above was wrong based on the facts that were revealed in the trial. Zimmerman did not ignore the 911 operator (in fact it wasn't a 911 operator at all...Zimmerman called the non-emergency police phone line). By the time the police dispatcher instructed Zimmerman not to follow Martin, Zimmerman was already out of his vehicle and when he was instructed, "you don't need to do that" when the dispatched found out Zimmerman was following Martin, Zimmerman then turned back and headed back to his vehicle, at which time the confrontation occurred. Furthermore, you wrote about Zimmerman being wrong for pursuing "an innocent, unarmed individual" but Martin was not portraying the actions of "an innocent individual" that night. He was running from house to house in very close proximity to them. From all outward appearances this behavior would look like the actions of a would-be burglar looking to hit an uunoccupied house. These are the things that neighborhood watch volunteers look for. Was this a tragedy? ABSOLUTELY! Could it have been avoided? ABSOLUTELY! Zimmerman called the police. Who did Martin call? His girlfiend. Had Martin stayed where he was, stepped into the light, or stood on a porch and called the police just like Zimmerman did we wouldn't be having this discussion. We need to stop being afraid to place blame where blame is due. It is not illegal to get out of your car for any reason especially to check out something suspicious. It is not illegal to call law enforcement when you see something suspicious. It is illegal to pick a fight with someone because you feel one way or the other. With that in mind, it stands to reason that if Zimmerman wanted Martin dead, wouldn't he have shot Martin from a distance? Why would Zimmerman attack Martin and engage in a physical altercation only to shoot him during it? The sole purpose of a handgun is distance. Sadly, I believe this is a key factor in showing Martin was the aggressor in this incident. As for the prosecution over-reaching, Zimmerman never should have been prosecuted in the first place based on Florida law. Everyone wants Zimmerman prosecuted based on emotion but we have to remember that we have to STICK TO THE LAW.
Vince Crandon July 17, 2013 at 05:00 PM
I think George Zimmerman showed an amazing amount of restraint before firing the fatal shot. Trayvon first punched George causing him to fall to the ground, and then George got his head bashed into the cement while screaming for help for 45 seconds before he reached for his gun. If I had a gun, I highly doubt I would take that much abuse for such a long time before firing a shot.
Innocent Bystander July 17, 2013 at 07:03 PM
This is what the lessor-watched news outlets (non-Fox) want: focus on garbage like this, while ignoring the daily losses to our privacy by the government. George won: let him be! Let's get Holder back, to focus back on his Fast & Furious scam.
Biker July 17, 2013 at 09:18 PM
Not Guilty is Not Guilty! The jury found GZ not guilty after they listened to whatever evidence was presented by both sides. The jury was picked by both sides so stating that the jury was rigged is absurd. I am sure that no matter what color you are, if you were in GZ's place, you would be happy with the verdict. Therefore there would be no need for these useless & aggravating demonstrations. The "peaceful" demonstrators carried signs stating they were TM ( he was black, right?) and bought skittles and ice tea. Did they smoke a joint as well? During the trial it was stated that he had marijuana in his system. All that aside, if the situation was reversed, would there have been demonstrations if TM were alive & GZ were killed? I doubt it. Everyone is saying this is not about black & white. Sure looks black & white to me. I have said my piece here and in the Huffington Post. I am fed up with dragging this story out because of a NOT GUILTY verdict. Why are we not putting our energy into demonstrating against this Administration for the problems they have created in the past 4-5 years by holding them accountable. 3 more years of these problems and we just might not exist.
Pam Lorraine July 17, 2013 at 10:21 PM
Hello all, I am Pamela Davis and I organized the demonstration. Thank You for responding to the story. I understand this topic is very disturbing and some are very opinionated. First, I would like to correct a few comments in an informative way. THIS WAS NOT A PROTEST...THIS WAS A DEMONSTRATION. (a gathering of people for a cause, not an opportunity to bash/criticize either position about the verdict) In light of the opinionated and straight up division that this verdict caused, I wanted to provide an opportunity for members of the mahwah community to be able to express themselves peacefully. More importantly, discuss the status quo and invoke a charge to its residents to change. Members of both positions were present. Members of every ethnicity were represented. This WAS NOT a black or white issue. However, to ignore that an issue exists at all is extremely naive. This ignorance is unacceptable seeing as everyone who is commenting on this post was not present. If you were, you would have heard me say that regardless of whether or not you feel justice was served, a child was killed. Our responsibility as a community is to make sure that another child is not buried by their parents. This goal can be accomplished regardless of color. Community spiritual leader Rev Kenneth P Heyman Sr. led a public prayer for healing and community unity, which all of you were not a part of. We can all self reflect and decide to make positive changes in our own lives, whether it be to volunteer as a mentor for children, register to vote, be involved in community events, ect. This was what the event was about. DO NOT misconstrue this as a BLACK EVENT that does not apply to you because you are not African American. IT APPLIES TO ALL THAT INHALE. To respond to specific comments: The signs that said "I am Trayvon" demonstrated that any one of us could have been walking down the street and deemed suspicious. That could have been your child walking home from school, the mahwah library, Pattington square, Rio Vista, ect. and was pursued by a person with a gun and no authority. In the context of Mahwah, we have to train our children how to react in situations, to carry themselves appropriately, and understand that although you may not be able to change a person's opinion of an ignorant stereotype, you can educate others to enlightenment. Are there children in mahwah who are misguided? Yes! Are their children in mahwah with questionable facebook pages? Definitely! Does that mean that because of social media character assassination that they deserve to die? ABSOLUTELY NOT!. We can all agree that if Zimmerman and Trayvon never met we would not be having this conversation. That does not mean that issue of profiling does not exist. (whether you feel this is a case of profiling or not) Zimmerman was found not guilty. So be it! Zimmerman lays his head on his pillow and rests comfortably, while trayvon's parents can no longer look forward to high school graduation, birthday parties, and weddings. If this was a child from mahwah, would approaching this situation with such a cold heart would be appropriate then?
Dave McMillin July 19, 2013 at 09:47 AM
What Trayvon was buying. Please don't let your children try this too. http://therealrevo.com/blog/?p=75112
Atom July 21, 2013 at 09:40 AM
Gee... I don't recall the same rally's after OJ was found not guilty... Reverend Al only goes one way...MSNBC must be so proud of their hate spreader and race baiter
Chopped Meet July 21, 2013 at 01:01 PM
I agree Atom, there are many other injustices never mentioned by the 'usual suspects"(Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson Barry Obama and Eric Holder) crowd.Remember the Jewish student Yankel Rossenbaum, stabbed to death in Brooklyn,and shortly thereafter a white man mistaken for a Jew, coming home from WORK, was pulled out of his car stabbed and beaten to death and nobody did a day in jail. I can go on. Where's the outrage??
Mona Lot July 22, 2013 at 05:58 AM
Was this so called "Rally" initiated and approved by the township? Where all the people that gathered for the "Rally" actually from Mahwah.

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