July 15, 2013
About two dozen people gathered outside the Federal Courthouse Building in Charlottesville Sunday afternoon to voice their disapproval of the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial.
Two pre-teens, Zyahna Bryant and Tamarius Washington, organized the protest just a day after a jury found Zimmerman not guilty in the death of Trayvon Martin.
"I want be a lawyer when I grow up, and I want to go into a system that is good and I want to go into a system that is fair," said 12-year-old Bryant. "This is not justice for Trayvon, this is not justice for his mom, it's not justice for his dad."
Bryant's 11-year-old cousin also thinks the jury made the wrong decision.
"I was very disappointed and heart broke because, if that was to happen to me, my mom would want the person who killed me to get some time," said Washington.
Though the kids organized the demonstration, their grandmother, Vizena Howard, helped them carry it out.
"It was like, 'Nana, Nana, can we do it?' I said, 'Sure,' said Howard. "It started in the front yard and ended up here on the corner, and we got a lot of support from a lot of people."
About 30 people filled the sidewalk at the intersection of Ridge McIntire Road and Water Street, carrying signs and Skittles. The protestors asked drivers to honk if they shared the same opinion on the verdict.
"I wish more of them would come out and stand with us to help support, but as long as they toot, we know they're with us, and that's a good feeling, you know?" said Howard.
Although the protest was peaceful and its organizers were young, Bryant is optimistic they can make a change.
"By us coming out, we can try and stop it. We can get people to stop killing each other because it's not helping us, it's not helping them and it's not making anything better," said Bryant.
Charlottesville's protest was one of many that took place across the country on Sunday.