In a piece for Truth Dig, Marcia Alesan Dawkins writes that while the Million Hoodie March was leaderless, the protesters’ demands for justice for Trayvon Martin, combined with their digital footprint, sent a clear message.
[B]ecause it was leaderless, the march was very difficult for the NYPD to control. The three crowds diverged and converged several times, and there were moments of running, jumping and evading. Some protesters tore down the barricades surrounding the bull sculpture on Wall Street and climbed on it. But most of the crowd was walking through the fog and talking about how Trayvon Martin’s case is linked to institutional racism. And about how many are seeing the march as “Troy Davis 2.0,” as well as reminders of the tragic cases of Oscar Grant and Wendell Allen. Sometimes protesters shouted at the police and other times they chanted, “Stop stop and frisk!” Or, “Whose streets? Our streets!” Or, “Whose son? Our son!”
Meanwhile, Twitter exploded with poignant descriptions, opinions and photos. One of the most popular photos circulated was of former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm sporting a black hoodie in support. Another popular image was of a group of Howard University law school students donning hoodies with the caption “do they look suspicious to you?”And the most compelling photo was of a young black boy holding a sign that said, “Am I next?” Two of the most popular opinions were “No Apologies” and “White People, You Will Never Look Suspicious!” Each called for every civilian, police officer and elected official to take responsibility for the society we’ve created that allows tragic events like Martin’s shooting to occur, though in very different ways. Soon after, online graffiti created for the march began to emerge and circulate to bring the point home.
In all, the Million Hoodie March was an on-the-ground call for an end and an online call for a new beginning. Protesters marched for an end to institutional racism and an end to injustice in this case and others. Their footsteps were echoed by the digital footprints of online protesters who typed and tweeted for a fresh start and a future in which no one will have to worry about being the next Trayvon Martin.
Read Marcia Alesan Dawkins’ entire piece at Truth Dig.