Social Media Leads Social Activism: Trayvon Martin Movement

Many people weren’t aware of Trayvon Martin’s tragic death at the young age of 17 in Sanford, Florida earlier this month. After online petitions, tweets and Facebook posts, awareness has skyrocketed and a social movement has formed.

Martin had been shot and killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer while he had only a bag of Skittles on him. The shooter, George Zimmerman, claimed to police that he saw a suspicious black male that had a hooded sweatshirt on with the hood up. He reported to police that he thought he was acting strangely, possibly on drugs. Against police orders, Zimmerman followed the boy and at some point shortly after, shot Martin in the chest at close range. Phone records with the police remain blurry as to what happened.

Outrage and mourning ensued after news of the murder spread, especially because Zimmerman has not been charged. A “Million Hoodie March” to protest Martin’s death have been seen in major cities such as New York and Philadelphia. Protestors wear hooded sweatshirts with the hood up to symbolize what Martin was wearing when he was killed. The march was initiated after Trayvon’s parents created an online petition for the criminal investigation of Trayvon’s murder. After an hour of the event, 973, 065 signatures were obtained. The petition now has over 2 million signatures. Aside from the petition, there have been over 600,000 mentions on Twitter concerning the case and a “Justice for Trayvon Martin” Facebook page with 82,000 “likes”.

I can only anticipate that support for the movement will grow as more details on the case are investigated. Have you been involved with the movement on social media?

Photo courtesy of the Time Newsfeed article that can be found here.

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