“We have to fight for our kids. We have to fight for all those in line that are coming. I fight for my sons, I fight for your sons, I fight for your daughters and we have to stand and take no more,” Daphne Jackson of the International Socialis

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“We have to fight for our kids. We have to fight for all those in line that are coming. I fight for my sons, I fight for your sons, I fight for your daughters and we have to stand and take no more,” Daphne Jackson of the International Socialist Organization shouted clearly Saturday to a crowd of about 400 at Daley Plaza.

The tragedy of 17-year-old Florida native Trayvon Martin, the young man who was shot and killed Feb. 26 by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman — a white Hispanic — captured the nation’s attention and created a movement. Zimmerman claimed he acted in self-defense after a fight with the teen. He has not been arrested, though state and federal authorities are investigating.

Activists throughout Chicago came to encourage the mixed crowd. Mothers, sons, fathers, daughters, students, old and young chanted repeatedly, “We’ll never be DEFEATED, the PEOPLE, UNITED” with signs held against the rain and black power fists lifted.

Many of the protesters wore hooded sweatshirts like the one Martin was dressed in when he was killed. One protester put a sign on the back of his hoodie that read, "Do I look suspicious now?"

After Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera suggested last week that Martin might still be alive, had he not worn a hoodie the day of the murder, citizens nationwide cried out in disgust and anger.

African Americans look at Trayvon’s death as another example of racial profiling.

“This incident shows me just how far we are from a post racial society,” UIC senior, Matt Harper said.

As a 23-year-old, not much older than Trayvon was at his death, Harper can relate to the daily stress of being a black male in America.

“Every day, when I walk down the street, I know that I’m in danger of being harassed by the police for being the wrong skin color in the wrong neighborhood. Anyone who claims to be socially conscious has the duty to be out in the streets demanding justice for Trayvon and his family” said Harper.

Many consider this incident almost a replica of the 1955 Emmett Till case. It’s no secret that the race issue still thrives in America and it’s not just minorities who argue this.

A writer for the controversial communist newspaper Revolution said, “It’s been 50 years since Emitt Till was murdered and still white supremacy can murder black youth at will.”

The writer’s name is being withheld for privacy concerns.

People from across the country are angry with the outcome and many say enough is enough and that it’s time for change.

Communist member, Jordan Farrar from Baltimore said he came out to show his support. “It’s important that all of us stick together in this type of stuff,” he said.

“People assume that because we voted in a half black president that all of a sudden racism isn’t an issue.”

Jackson, who is a mom first, then activist and black woman, held tears in her eyes when speaking to the Defender about how the killing affected her personally. “It hurt because as any mother who has teenaged sons, the first thing you see is that can be my son,” she said. “That was a life lost for nothing and what hurts even more is that people have to rally and protest for justice?”

For the Rev. Aaron Watts, the teen’s death brought him to tears over his own recent loss. Stephon Watts, a 15-year-old with Asperger’s syndrome and the minister’s cousin, was shot and killed inside his home by police on Feb. 1 in the southern Chicago suburb of Calumet City.

"He had autism, he wasn’t a gangbanger, there were no drugs," Watts said. "… If a mad pit bull was on the loose, they’d have had more compassion, trying to calm it down first," he said of the officers.

Police responded to domestic call after the teenager became upset and pushed his father. Like many with Asperger’s, the teen was highly intelligent but struggled with social skills. He was in the basement using a kitchen knife to try to open a closet where his father had locked his computer. Police say they shot him after he cut one of the officers with the knife.

Martin’s slaying brought back that pain for Aaron Watts.

"I had tried to keep it together for my family. But this week I let it all out," he said.

Watts keeps a tally of the city’s violence and said that since September he’s counted 57 schoolchildren who have been shot, most in gang shootings.

"I want us to march and turn over cars for that too," he said.

Angie Meus, Defender Contributing Reporter and Opinions Editor for the Famuan, and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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