In the wake of the Trayvon Martin verdict, the group Occupy Elgin is planning a protest on Saturday calling for repeal of stand-your-ground self-defense laws across the nation.
The protest takes place at 1 p.m. at the corner of Grove Avenue and Kimball Street, across from Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin, organizers said in a news release. There will be an informal "speak out" at 2 p.m. during which people from the community can take turns speaking about their reaction to Zimmerman verdict. Organizers didn't immediately return calls seeking comment Wednesday.
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A Florida jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of murder and manslaughter charges after he shot and killed Martin in February 2012. Florida adopted its stand-your-ground law in 2005; among other things, the law eliminated the duty to retreat before using deadly force.
Elgin resident Danise Habun posted information about Saturday's rally on her Facebook page. She's not a member of Occupy Elgin, but she supports the rally's cause, she said.
"The verdict that came out of Florida was a travesty," she said. "I'm standing in support of efforts to make sure that something like that doesn't happen again. I think it was a ridiculous verdict."
Zimmerman should have been "punished in some way" for killing Martin, Habun said. "It should never have happened -- both the murder and the acquittal."
Elgin resident Elvira Ramirez said she also plans to attend the rally, because she doesn't support stand-your-ground laws. "It makes it really easy for people to commit crimes," she said.
She also believes that Zimmerman's trial was unfair.
"We don't really know what the story is behind it all. We only have one person's story," she said. "I believe (during the trial) they tried Martin as a defendant, and Zimmerman as a victim."