SUPPORT: Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, addresses crowd gathered outside the Hackney Town Hall (PIC CREDIT: Juliana Salgado)
A HACKNEY mum has thanked Diane Abbott for changing her plans at the last minute to attend a vigil for tragic teen, Trayvon Martin, which was held the east London borough on Wednesday night
The MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, whose son is just three years older than Trayvon, who was shot and killed by a neighbourhood watchman last month, also made an impromptu speech at the event, organised by mother of three, Molly Mulready-Jones.
“Dianne Abbott MP came and spoke, which was really good of her. She changed her plans just to be there,” Mulready-Jones told The Voice.
“It was lovely of her to do that,” she added.
Hackney Cllr, Michael Jones also made a “really powerful speech” to the crowd who had gathered outside the Hackney Town Hall.
“He said we all see injustice every day and we have to learn not to stay silent about it. He said we must speak out and must use what happened to Trayvon to motivate us to stand up and take action so that no other family ever has to go through the same thing again,” Mulready-Jones said.
Mr Jones’ speech was followed by a “moving” two-minute silence for the teen.
“There were 150 people standing silent in a busy town hall square. It was very moving,” she added.
Trayvon was returning to his father's fiancée’s house on February 26 after buying Skittles for his younger brother and an iced tea for himself at a nearby 7-Eleven store, when he was shot and killed by self-styled neighbourhood watchman, George Zimmerman.
Zimmerman, who is of white and Hispanic origin, claimed the teen was acting 'suspicious' and had shot him in self-defence during a confrontation in the Sanford, Florida, gated community.
Mulready-Jones felt compelled to organise the vigil after watching Trayvon’s grieving parents on the news.
“When I saw Trayvon’s mother on the news, my heart broke for her. My son is 12, he is just five years younger than Trayvon. He goes to the shop all the time. I don’t know what I would do if one day he didn’t come back,” said Mulready-Jones, who also has two young daughters.
The seemingly unprovoked shooting has sparked outrage in the Florida community as citizens call for Zimmerman's arrest.
An online petition urging local authorities to prosecute Zimmerman has meanwhile drawn more than 2 million signatures on website Change.org. While a number of celebrities have also joined in the campaign for justice.
This Saturday, hundreds of people will gather outside the American Embassy in central London to protest.
It follows a similar demonstration in New York’s Union Square where protestors turned up in hoodies, the item of clothing Trayvon was wearing when he was killed, calling for Zimmerman, who has not been arrested, to be brought to justice.
“I hope everyone there will go to the US embassy on Saturday and keep the solidarity going so Trayvon's family know that Londoners are standing with them,” Mulready-Jones said.