Groups plan protests in honor of Trayvon Martin - FOX 13 News

Groups plan protests in honor of Trayvon Martin

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Several groups are set to hold "Justice for Trayvon" rallies across the country Saturday.

Friday, protesters in the Bay Area got a bit of a head start.

"Don't think for a second that you don't have a right to be angry," said Pastor Michael Bryant.

A group led by the Tampa Dream Defenders protested outside the U.S. Attorneys Office in downtown Tampa.

They say their goal is force the federal government to bring charges against George Zimmerman, the Sanford neighborhood watch captain who shot Martin last February.

The group also called for an end to the "Stand Your Ground" laws in Florida.

"That twisted draconian law needs to be changed," said protester Faahla Ali.

They weren't the only ones to brave Friday's rain showers to gather in Martin's honor.

More than 100 people came together at Vinoy Park in downtown St. Pete for a "Trayvon Martin Unity and Justice Rally."

They were short on signs, chants and slogans but had a similar purpose.

"I wanted people to be educated because every time something bad happens someone gets on a stage and says what they want to do or what should change but nothing really changes. The best thing to do is educate the people and that's what we're doing tonight," said rally organizer Jantia Lofton.

They ended their event with a march to St. Pete City Hall where they intended to register people to vote.

And while the big vigils are certainly coming Saturday, people are expected to gather in 100 US cities, it's clear people in Tampa and St. Pete are still upset over the Zimmerman verdict and couldn't wait till the weekend to tell the community.

"It's hard for this country to believe that a black man could be a victim of anything," said Bryant. "Trayvon Martin is the first person in American history to go on trial for his own murder."

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