Million Hoodies Creator, Parents Take Trayvon Across The Pond
Trayvon Martin's parents to meet UK families with same story
The young man behind the Million Hoodies Movement for Justice has taken his idea across the pond to the United Kingdon, where scores of Brits are expected to unite in remembrance of Trayvon Martin and Stephen Lawrence, considered London’s Martin of the early 1990s.
Daniel Maree of New York has organized a Friday town hall and vigil for Martin and Lawrence, at the University of London Union from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. BST. After the discussion, a silent vigil will be held on Downing Street.
Martin’s parents and Lawrence’s mother will attend the town hall and vigil, confirmed Maree, who was asked by Martin family lawyer Ben Crump to spearhead the planning.
“At first I was kind of skeptical because I know how hard it is to do these things,” Maree told Loop 21 by phone. “I feel like they are kind of like the first family right now, and (Crump) is like the chief of staff. So, I couldn’t say no.”
Maree said they started out with the idea for a march in London, but decided against that because of the unpredictable response to that type of action.
“We wanted to get a sense of what the context was in London, because there’s been a lot of sensitivities around this issue,” Maree said.
In 2011, England endured riots estimated to be some of the worst in the nation for more than a decade. Protestors were reportedly upset by the lack of judicial response to the police shooting death of Mark Duggar, a 29-year-old black man in London.
Widespread rioting, looting and arson made international headlines, months before the world would turn its attention “across the pond” to Florida’s Trayvon Martin.
With the help of Occupy London, Maree said they decided on the university location for the meeting. The group decided on Downing Street for the silent vigil.
Doreen Lawrence, Stephen’s mother, met with Martin’s parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, a day ahead of the vigil, reports The Sun.
"It’s 19 years since Stephen was killed and it was only this January that two were sentenced for his murder so it’s been a long struggle. I sort of know where you’re coming from,” Doreen reportedly told Fulton in London on Thursday.
Maree said Doreen is the Sybrina Fulton of London, as she’s been able to bring national attention to her son’s killing.
“She’s got incredible clout right now,” Maree said. “She’s been able to move legislation through Parliament and a whole bunch of other things. So we’re really excited that she’ll be joining us.”
Maree isn’t setting out to match the success of this year’s New York City march for Trayvon.
“We’re setting out to do more of an emotional type of thing,” Maree said. “I’d be happy if 10 or 20 people showed up just to show their support for this international coming together of families.”
For more information about the London events, click here.