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UK shows support for Trayvon Martin

HUNDREDS OF people dressed in hoodies protested outside the US embassy in London today to express concern over the death of American teenager Trayvon Martin.

The demonstration was organised by comedian Ava Vidal who wanted to show support to the 17-year-old’s family and to raise awareness so a similar tragedy does not happen in Britain.

Trayvon was shot in the chest at close range by George Zimmerman after leaving a corner shop, inside a gated community, in Florida, to buy an iced tea and a bag of Skittles on February 26.

In an emergency phonecall, Zimmerman was recorded saying the teenager, who was wearing a hoodie, was acting suspiciously. He began to pursue the young man despite being told not to by the operator.

Zimmerman, aged 28, claims he acted in self-defence following an argument, and has not been charged with any crime.

It has sparked outrage across the United States and left the African-American community dumbfounded as to why

Vidal said: “When I heard about the story, I cried. I literally cried, because I am a mother and I know this could happen to my own son right here in Britain.

“There is something very wrong in our society, because up until the age of 12 our black boys are seen as cute, and then all of a sudden they get called things like frightening and intimidating. Why is that?

“Part of the problem is racism. I hear other comedians tell racist jokes, but that just helps to fuel stereotypes that create people like David Starkey or George Zimmermans.

Mercury Prize-winning rapper Speech Debelle also attended the demonstration in central London.

She said: “Trayvon Martin could be any of us. It doesn’t matter whether something like this happens on that side of the Atlantic, or this side. This is a black issue and I wanted to show my support.”

At the end of the rally, 17 black balloons were released in the teenager’s honour.

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