Washington, DC -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/22/2013 -- Local Black activists and community members are calling for a mass economic boycott to take place from August 1, 2013 until February 26, 2014. The boycott comes on the heels of the "not guilty" verdict of George Zimmerman for the killing of an unarmed 17-year-old Black teenager, Trayvon Martin, in Sanford, Florida. The dates coincide with the start of "Black August" and the day Trayvon Martin was murdered, respectively.
The boycott will seek to show the "strength of Black dollars" by halting all luxury spending by Black people in the United States. The call has asked for only necessary living essentials, from local or Black-owned businesses, be purchased during the "blackout" period.
"Serious times call for serious measures," one Black community member remarked in response to a boycott which has the potential to seriously impact the U.S. economy. Social justice activists assert that Black people continue to suffer disproportionately in every aspect of American society - from a school-to-prison pipeline paradigm to a racist criminal justice system - and that these systems are dependent on an economy that is controlled by profit-driven corporations. "In essence, we are financing our own oppression," a D.C.-based Black activist remarked. "Trayvon Martin was just one example of this oppressive system that targets and profits off of the backs of Black people with zero accountability," commented another.
Among the demands of the boycott are an end to Stand Your Ground laws in every state in which they are on the books, a civil rights suit brought against George Zimmerman, and an immediate overhaul of the criminal justice system, including stop-and-frisk laws, mandatory sentencing, and "three strikes" laws, all of which contribute to the mass incarceration of Black people in America.
As one Black community leader remarked: "This is just the beginning. . . and believe me, we will be heard."
More information about the boycott can be found at www.trayvonmartinblackout.com.
We are an organic, emerging grassroots collective comprised of activists and citizens opposed to the murder and verdict of Trayvon Martin, opposed to the execution of Troy Davis and opposed to all other victims of the criminal 'justice" system. We see the death penalty as representative of the much greater problems with the criminal justice system, problems that include political prisoners who have been incarcerated in an effort to quell dissent, mass incarceration, which serves as the New Jim Crow, the prevalence of police brutality to control communities of color, and the propagation of the school-to-prison pipeline. We believe that as citizens and activists we can prevent the racist criminal justice system from continuing to marginalize and oppress communities of color.