Reverend Jesse Jackson announced his support of the Dream Defenders today, the latest in a string of high-profile affiliations, which includes entertainment and civil rights icon Harry Belafonte.
The Dream Defenders are leading a push to repeal Stand Your Ground laws, address racial profiling, and launch a national discussion on issues catalyzed by George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman was found not guilty of the second degree and manslaughter charges related to the case and says he shot Martin in self-defense.
On this, the fifteenth day of the Dream Defenders’ sit-in at the Florida Capitol building, protestors continue to press state lawmakers to address these issues.
Jackson announced plans to stay overnight with the protestors, stating to the Grio that, “The Rainbow Push Coalition is mobilizing elected officials in support of these student movements. Too many people in Florida are disenfranchised.”
The Dream Defenders formed as an organization when Zimmerman’s case first began to gain national attention about six weeks after the death of the Florida teen in February 2012. Funding derives from donations, mostly funneled through the Dream Defenders’ website.
“We’re not here for the theater. We want action,” Dream Defenders Executive Director Phillip Agnew told theGrio on Monday. While protesting with twenty students and young professionals in the halls of the Florida State Capitol outside Governor Rick Scott’s office, Agnew shared the future of his organization’s movement.