Mar. 25, 2012
By JASON FLYNN
University students stood in silence at the Tate lawn.
They gathered there on Friday to protest the shooting of Trayvon Martin, with the support of the University chapter of the NAACP.
Martin, a Florida teenager, was shot and killed as he returned home from a convenience store on Feb. 26. Controversy started after George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman who said he killed the 17-year-old in self-defense, was not apprehended or investigated because of Florida’s “Stand your ground” laws.
“It seems like he was murdered for no specific reason,” said Stewart Zellars, an economics and statistics major from Augusta. “The silent protest is really for us to take a stand and say, ‘This is how we feel about something. We think this is an injustice.’”
Nekabari Goka, an economics and international affairs major from Atlanta, and Zellars facilitated the protest. Zellars said over 175 students attended, word was spread entirely through Twitter, Facebook and by word of mouth.
Goka said that he initially found out about the incident via social media, but did not believe it at first.
“I was in class and saw a lot of hashtag Trayvon Martin, justice in florida,” He said. “When I heard the details I almost thought it was a joke, to say that a 17-year-old kid with iced tea and skittles and wearing a hood, and the shooter, the one with the nine millimeter, felt that his life was in danger.”
Soon after, Goka saw Zellars decided something needed to be done, organized the protest and were out on the lawn three days later.
“That shows a testament to the fact that we have the ability to mobilize,” Goka said. “Time and time again we’ve shown that when University of Georgia students talk, Georgia listens.”
As a part of the protest students stood silently in black, many with skittles and iced tea, and held signs with slogans or twitter hashtags to promote awareness.
“The reason we decided to do a silent protest is that if you look at the news, or if you look at social media there is a lot of talk,” Goka said. “You sort of loathe situations where people talk about things but don’t necessarily act. Coming up with the idea for the silent protest we said we aren’t going to talk, we’ll just act.”
Zellars said that he was not surprised at the rapid response of the student to the issue because of the long reach of social media and the character of the student body.
“I have a lot of faith in my classmates, and people can say whatever about apathy or inaction, but I really believe that once it hit the social media outlets the way it did I knew they would deliver,” he said.
Full Article Here – http://redandblack.com/2012/03/25/silent-protest-promotes-awareness-of-treyvon-martin-case/