New London ‘hoodie' rally planned Sunday

New London — The outrage over the shooting death of an unarmed Florida boy has found its way to New London.

The local NAACP chapter will hold a "hoodie" rally Sunday afternoon at the Parade Plaza to bring attention to the killing of Trayvon Martin, a black 17-year-old shot dead by a neighborhood watch volunteer. At the time, Martin was wearing a hooded sweatshirt.

State NAACP criminal justice Chairman Tamara Lanier said she encourages all attending to wear a hoodie and to bring Skittles candy and iced tea. According to media reports, Martin had gone to the store and was returning with those items before he was killed.

Hoodies have been worn at similar rallies around the country as a way to combat the notion that wearing one is suspicious.

A poster for the rally asks for "Justice for Trayvon, Justice in New London."

"Hood up, stand up & call out 4 your rights," the poster reads.

Lanier said the call for justice in the Florida shooting echoes the call for justice in New London, where residents have alleged racial discrimination and profiling.

"It is a movement, a movement to end racial profiling, to end the violation of people's civil rights in this community and in this country," Lanier said this week. "People are very passionate about it and want to be a part of it."

There will be entertainment, singing performances and talk about racial discrimination, Lanier said. She said she's been in contact with local high schools to attract young members of the community to attend the 4 p.m. rally, which she said is open to all.

"The kids that are very passionate about this issue, we want to engage them so they know they can come out and participate," Lanier said. "I think that the young people, some feel 'I am Trayvon, this could happen to me, this could happen to me in New London.' It's a fear and certainly a cry for change because they don't want this to happen to them."

Last Sunday, New London resident Diane Fisher led a similar rally and march. Fisher said the march, from Bank Street near the intersection of Shaw Street, down to the Parade Plaza, drew about 100 people wearing hoodies and armed with Skittles and iced tea.


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If you go

WHAT: NAACP-sponsored “hoodie” rally for Trayvon Martin

WHEN: 4 p.m., Sunday

WHERE: Parade Plaza, downtown New London


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