(SWP Campaign Statement)
The Socialist Workers Party candidates in Iowa, Illinois and Washington state join in calling for the arrest and prosecution of Trayvon Martin's killer. We should call this murder by its right name: a lynching. Martin, a 17-year-old high school student, was killed because he was Black.
George Zimmerman, the "neighborhood watchman" who shot Martin, told a 911 police dispatcher that Martin looked "suspicious, up to no good." Martin had the nerve to stare back as Zimmerman stared him down. And then the nerve to run away. We're told that an unarmed Martin may have had the audacity to try to defend himself from this menacing stranger who asked him "what are you doing here?" steps away from where Martin was staying with his father. In response, Zimmerman drew his gun and shot.
It's not their own murderous cops the police department is protecting this time, but a vigilante killer. "We don't have anything to dispute his claim of self-defense," the Sanford police chief said of Zimmerman's account, citing recent laws used to sanction vigilante violence. In a word, the police organized a racist cover-up.
But the victim's family would not let it rest. Neither will the thousands more coming into the streets each day to prove in action that it's too late in history for a lynching to be accepted. And they are backed by the sentiments of tens of millions.
The killing has touched a deep chord among workers and youth of all backgrounds, especially those who are Black. In cities and towns across the country demonstrations, vigils, school walkouts and other protests against this lynching have taken place and more are planned. We urge our supporters to help build these actions Among the most important will be the NAACP-called national demonstration in Sanford, Fla., March 31.
Socialist Workers Party candidates
Illinois: John Hawkins, U.S. Congress, 1st District; Laura Anderson, U.S. Congress, 3rd District; Dennis Richter, U.S. Congress, 7th District; Alyson Kennedy, Cook County State's Attorney;
Iowa: David Rosenfeld, U.S. Congress, 3rd District; Margaret Trowe, Iowa State Senate, District 18;
Washington state: Mary Martin, governor.