After successfully mobilizing the Million Hoodies Movement for Justice in support of slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin, organizers, in tandem with Trayvon’s parents, have taken their message of awareness to London, where similar stories about racial profiling and gun violence ring true for the many Black communities.
A town hall and vigil was held in Friday at the University of London Union honoring Martin and England’s own tragic case of racial profiling, Stephen Lawrence. Lawrence was beaten and stabbed to death by a group of white teens while waiting at a bus stop in 1993. He was 18 years old.
Ahead of the vigil, Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, met with Lawrence’s mother Doreen, who said she was immediately touched when she heard about Trayvon.
“As soon as I heard the news about Trayvon’s death I wanted to stretch a hand over the water. I understood what they were going through,” Doreen said in a recorded interview in The Sun. “One minute your son is walking and communicating, the next he is dead. Someone is responsible for that."
Two of the men involved in Lawrence’s death were only just recently convicted of their crimes in January 2012, and as a result of the sluggish investigation, London’s Metropolitan Police was deemed “institutionally racist.”
In addition to the vigil, The Sun reports that Trayvon’s parents are visiting England to thank supporters for their contributions and to visit the Stephen Lawrence centre, a foundation started by Doreen to fund studies in architecture — the field in which her son hoped to work.
“Doreen is an inspiration to your country. Her love and support has turned tragedy to something positive,” Tracy Martin told The Sun. "Any parent would have been proud to have either Trayvon or Stephen as their son. Our boys changed the world."
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