Saturday, March 24, 2012

Fwd: The Black Political Empowerment Project(B-PEP)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: The Black Political Empowerment Project(B-PEP) <>

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here
The Black Political Empowerment Project(B-PEP) and the Coalition Against Violence stand with the Black Graduate Students of Carnegie Melllon University in their Rally for Justice for Trayvon

Monday, March 26, 2012.

12:30pm until 1:30am.


Please join the Black Graduate Student Organization at Carnegie Mellon University as we rally for justice and remembrance of Trayvon Martin. THIS EVENT IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AND ALL UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN PITTSBURGH.

MARCH 26,2012 12:30-1:30PM ON THE LAWN (by the fence) of CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY (5000 Forbes Ave.).

We seek justice, not only for Trayvon's family and friends, but in honor of everyone who has been victimized by the plague of gun violence sweeping our communities.

We are Trayvon.

If you are unaware of the events of February 26, 2012:

On February 26th, Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old high school student visiting his father and soon-to-be stepmother in Sanford, Florida was gunned down in a gated townhouse community. Trayvon had left the house he and his father were visiting to walk to the local 7-Eleven. On his way back, he caught the attention of George Zimmerman, a 28- year-old neighborhood watch captain. Zimmerman spotted Trayvon and called the police, stating that he "looked real suspicious" and "looks like he's up to no good and on drugs or something." The 911 dispatcher urged Zimmerman to stay in his vehicle while the police were dispatched to the scene. Zimmerman left his vehicle to pursue Trayvon and, soon after, 911 received calls from neighbors that the two were engaged in a scuffle. Shortly after, two gunshots rang out. When the police arrived, Trayvon was face down in the grass with a fatal bullet wound to the chest. Zimmerman was standing with blood on his face and grass stains on his back. Trayvon was unarmed, carrying a pack of Skittles and an iced tea. Zimmerman was armed, carrying a 9-millimeter handgun. Trayvon was black. Zimmerman is white.

The Sanford Police Department took Zimmerman into custody and released him after he admitted he shot Trayvon, but stated he "acted in self-defense." Zimmerman has not been charged or arrested since the incident.


News reports warn that Florida's reckless "shoot first, ask questions later" law may actually protect George Zimmerman, the vigilante who gunned down an unarmed teenager with nothing in his hands except candy and a drink.

That's because, last year, Governor Corbett and our state legislature passed a law modeled on Florida's "shoot first" statute - they called it the Castle Doctrine expansion, and it allows the use of deadly force even when it is not absolutely necessary. They put our state on record as one that allows the brand of vigilantism promoted by the gun lobby.

The last thing Pennsylvania needs is a new excuse for gun violence. But that's just what this law encourages. It enables the reckless use of deadly force - and it makes it difficult to prosecute someone who guns down a person and then claims after the fact that he or she felt threatened.

The new law threw out the long-held standard that, outside of one's home, a person has an obligation to avoid using deadly force. That reasonable standard was law on the books for decades - and the gun lobby couldn't show a single case where somebody who acted in legitimate self defense was inappropriately prosecuted..

How many more innocent people like Trayvon Martin must die before Harrisburg comes to its senses? Does it need to happen so blatantly in our own community before our legislature will act?

The Pennsylvania legislature acted recklessly when they passed this law. Now we need to demand that they reverse their terrible mistake before it's too late.


In the meantime...


All students, community leaders/activists and residents to discuss the role of ethnic/racial profiling, stereotypes, and judicial bias in perpetuating violence in the United States. ALL ARE WELCOME.


Very truly yours,


Rob Conroy

CeaseFirePA, Western PA Field Coordinator

(412) 965-0383

No comments: