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Rallies in Norfolk, across the country demand ‘Justice for Trayvon’

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Posted at 3:36 PM, Jul 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-20 21:08:45-04

Norfolk, Va. - They brought their signs, their voices, and their kids.

David Miller attended the rally "People judge people nowadays so you never know. I could be walking down a neighborhood with a hoodie on and someone just picks me out of the group and I could have been dead."

And that is why the story of Trayvon Martin captured the attention of our country for over a year - because it was a story many people could identify with.

Although the case is closed and George Zimmerman was found not guilty, the people out on the street say the story is not over.

Felicia Miller admits she was never one to take part in events like this - until now.

"Most of us think the world is going to fix itself and that is not the case."

"I never attended any rallies, I never voiced my opinion about anything but from this point I have four Trayvon Martins, and I want everybody to know that I am going to fight for my kids at this point."

The folks NewsChannel 3 spoke to say that is going to start with clear communication and they also say there is one sure way to make sure your voice is heard.

"All individuals need to get engaged in the process of electing their officials of being informed," says Delegate Daun Hester.

"That is how we stand our ground by voting what we believe and without that we have nothing," says Father Jim Curran.

And that leads to the other issue many out here hope will change.

They want those who work in the system to be fair regardless of the color of the skin the person they are dealing with may be.

The rally in Norfolk was far from the only one on Saturday. The parents of Trayvon Martin joined thousands of Americans at more than 100 scheduled vigils in cities nationwide demanding Saturday what they described as justice for their 17-year-old son.

“It’s overwhelming,” Tracy Martin told CNN at a rally in Miami attended by hundreds of supporters, many of whom chanted, “No Peace! No Justice!”

“It sends a message to the nation that we’re not going to sit back and let our children be killed and don’t say anything about it.”

Surveying the crowd, he said, “This is what keeps us going — all of these people that are out here to support us: white, black, brown. There’s a mixture of people. Everybody is out to support not only Trayvon, but their children as well.”

On Friday, President Barack Obama said Trayvon Martin “could have been my son … could have been me, 35 years ago.”

He also encouraged more attention to racial profiling and “stand your ground” laws.

Tracy Martin said Saturday the president’s remarks “touched our heart.”

“We admire the president for stepping up and doing that because it sends a message to the world that this could have been anybody’s child and there’s no exceptions as to whose child it could have been,” he said. “We have to do something to corral the senseless violence.”

Martin predicted he would never recover from the death, but said, “We’re moving forward now.”

During his remarks to the crowd, Martin teared up, saying about his son, “He did nothing wrong and we’re not going to let them persecute him the way that they have.”

In New York, Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton was to be joined by her surviving son Jahvaris Fulton and the Rev. Al Sharpton. “God is healing my heart this very moment,” Sybrina Fulton said in a tweet. “But as I watch so many people come together, he reminds me that we have a lot of work to do.”

Sharpton and the National Action Network are urging the Justice Department to consider criminal civil rights charges against Zimmerman.

In Los Angeles, where violence broke out after the verdict in Zimmerman’s favor, the tone was upbeat and peaceful on Saturday. Hundreds of people had assembled by 9 a.m. outside the federal courthouse to underscore their message “that, as a community, we need to come together and we need to support justice for Trayvon,” said Donna Wade, one of the demonstrators. “That we need to do it in a peaceful manner.”

 CNN contributed to this report