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Chicagoans React To Zimmerman Acquittal

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Anti-Zimmerman protesters on Michigan Avenue. (Credit: Steve Miller)

Anti-Zimmerman protesters on Michigan Avenue. (Credit: Steve Miller)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Some Chicagoans are reacting to George Zimmerman’s acquittal with a number of pop-up protests around the city.

There were a number of peaceful protests last night following George Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict and no arrests were made according to Chicago Police.

The impromptu demonstration attracted at least a hundred people just passing by Congress and Michigan. The group started gathering around midnight just steps from the Taste of Chicago gates.


Police were standing by as demonstrators spoke chanted and held a moment of silence before ending things around one this morning.

Another crowd gathered at Daley Plaza, just before 11 last night with many holding signs with Trayvon Martin’s picture. Both crowds drew people of all backgrounds.

Leaders of these efforts say they were moved to action after George Zimmerman was acquitted and expressed what this verdict means to them.

“We came down here to turn our pain into power. To rally up the people. To show the world. To show the system. To show the news that we not done yet. This is just getting started,” said Jessica Disu.

“We had to show the people we can’t stand for this no more. No more lives in this country should have to die unjustly, and that’s not fair, and that’s not cool,” said Malcolm London.

Another demonstration started at noon on Sunday at Daley Plaza. Members of Young Chicago Authors, who touched-off last night’s protest at Congress and Michigan, are coordinating it. The protesters left Daley Plaza and headed toward Millennium Park and briefly blocked traffic along Michigan Avenue.

Tyrone Cochran of Dolton was at the demonstration and he says he’s tired of seeing young black men gunned down unjustly.

“I’ve been pretty much watching the injustice in this country of us African-Americans all my life. It’s insane that in this day and time that this kind of injustice still goes on in America,” said Cohran.

Father Michael Pleger said he was disappointed by the the jurors’ decision.

“I don’t trust the justice system and I have seen the justice system fail over and over again and I believe that Gorge Zimmerman was guilt,” said Pfleger. “I am just very sad and disappointed and angry about it.”

A group of ministers said Sunday they have heard from people who are devastated by Zimmerman’s acquittal.

Reverend Ira Acree, who hosted other clergy members at Greater St. John Bible Church, 1256 North Waller Sunday afternoon, wants to make sure what he calls a “punch in the mouth by the judicial system” doesn’t turn into violent street protests.

“We will fight back,” Acree says, “not with violence but with our voice. With discipline, with dignity and with restraint.”

The ministers say they hope to channel any anger into action in the voting booth, especially on the issue of concealed carry.

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