CLEVELAND, Ohio-Over 200 people, including prominent area Civil Rights attorneys, elected officials, Cleveland NAACP officials and leaders of grassroots groups such as the Imperial Women, Black on Black Crime, Occupy Cleveland, Revolution Books, the Oppressed People's Nation, the Carl Stokes Brigade, Peace in the Hood, Occupy the Hood Cleveland, the Committee to Bring Home Jamela and Jamyla, the Cleveland Chapter of the New Black Panther Party, the Cleveland African American Museum, Organize Ohio, the Northeast Ohio Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign, People for the Imperial Act, the Joaquin Hicks Real People's Movement, and the Underground Railroad participated in a rally on Fri., March 30 at Public Square in Cleveland to demand the repeal of Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law and in support of slain unarmed Florida teen Trayvon Martin.
"Gunning somebody down is not standing your ground," said famed Cleveland Civil Rights Attorney Avery Friedman, who produces and stars in a cable television show on constitutional issues and other legal matters at noon weekly on CNN.
"I am over six feet tall and weigh 250 pounds and if somebody feels threatened by me in a shopping mall and shoots me is that Stand Your Ground?" asked state Rep. Bill Patmon (D-10), a Cleveland Democrat. "Elected officials have got to stand up in Cleveland and elsewhere on what is happening to Black people in Cleveland and around this country."
Florida's Stand Your Ground law, which is duplicated in other states but not in Ohio, a state that does have a recently passed law that allows concealed weapons carry in bars and sports stadiums, is being tested as unconstitutional, though some people confuse it with self defense, which has a higher standard of justification.
Bill Swain of Revolution Books had harsher words than both Friedman and Patmon on the circumstances surrounding Martin's unprecedented murder.
"It is nothing but a modern day lynching," said Swain, a White community activist.