LOS ANGELES – August 28, 2013 marked the 50th anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech.
On that day, President Barack Obama spoke to a great congregation of people ,who flocked to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, to commemorate the iconic event.
Obama urged his fellow Americans of all colors and religions to “keep on marching” as the activists of the March to Washington movement did 50 years ago.
“Because they kept marching, America changed,” Obama said.
In Los Angeles, Filipino activist groups who took part in a “Justice for Trayvon Martin” protest at the LA Federal Courthouse believe that the dream has yet to be realized.
“People can see that the dream is not fulfilled and there still needs to be real change in the US,” Anakbayan USA Secretary General Eric Tandoc said in a Balitang America report.
Tandoc said that his fellow Filipino activists came out to support the ‘Justice for Trayvon’ because Filipinos know what it feels to be deprived of justice.
In July 2013, Florida neighborhood watchman Geroge Zimmerman was acquitted of murder charges for gunning down unarmed African American teenager Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman pleaded that he shot down Martin in self-defense.
“We can’t deny that his acquittal is an injustice,” said Bayan USA coordinator Theresa Jaranilla.
“We have to mobilize fully to show how unjust our justice system is and how it continues to criminalize people of color,” she added.
The protest came at the heels of recent developments in Florida, where Zimmerman’s defense team claimed that a motion “is in the works” to ask the state government to shoulder $200,000 to $300,000 of the legal fees incurred during the five-week second-degree murder trial.
“I think that’s just ridiculous,” Tandoc told Balitang America.
“First of all, he killed somebody, now he’s asking for the taxpayers to pay for [the legal fees]. It just shows how there’s a lot of injustice still here in the United States,” he added.
The Filipino activists said that they stand in solidarity with other people of color until Zimmerman is brought to justice for Martin’s death.
(With reports from Balitang America, Fox News, and USA Today)
(LA Weekend August 31 – September 3, 2013 Sec A pg.7)