April 12, 2012
By Ray Parker, Staff Writer
Hoping to add fuel to the national firestorm of protest against the shooting of unarmed Florida teen Trayvon Martin, New York unions mobilized members and politicians in Union Square on April 9th. The small but energetic rally lasted two hours. On hand were TWU Local 100 Political Action Director Marvin Thomas, who wore a white hoodie — now a symbol of protest against police brutality — and Teamsters Local 237 President Gregory Floyd. Local political leaders included City Councilwoman Letitia James and Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, among others.
Rank and file members also turned out to hear speakers talk about stop and frisk policies in New York and the reality of prejudice in America. The rally was almost cancelled because of a conflicting organizing meeting at Local 1199 to plan for a much larger march and demonstration on May 1, which will also call for justice in Florida is charges are not filed against George Zimmerman, who was standing neighborhood watch in a gated community when he fired on Trayvon, allegedly in self-defense.