Hundreds Rally in Harvard Square FOR Trayvon Martin, AGAINST Pending State Law That Would Protect Martin's Killer in Mass

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The hundreds of people who rallied in the Harvard Square pit tonight weren't just there to demand justice for Trayvon Martin. Nor were they merely there to call attention to the atrocity that was unleashed on the state of Florida, where the unarmed 17-year-old Martin was shot and killed last month by George Zimmerman, an overzealous neighborhood watchdog who has yet to be arrested.

The throng of activists and onlookers was also calling attention to an alarming situation in the commonwealth – one that could soon lead to any number of comparable incidents happening right here. It seems there's a sticky piece of legislation floating in the Massachusetts legislature – Senate Bill 661 – that would protect murderers like Zimmerman.

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Specifically, the proposed bill reads:

It shall be an act of lawful defense if a person, who is an occupant of a dwelling or in any place that they have a right to be, used deadly force, or less than deadly force, if he or she acted in the reasonable belief that an assailant was about to inflict great bodily injury or death upon themselves or upon another person who also had a right to be in the location. There shall be no duty on a person to retreat from any place that they have a right to be. An act of lawful defense as outlined in this section shall not be cause for arrest or prosecution.

Much like the notorious “three-strikes” law – a proven failure that even backwards southern states are ditching but that Mass legislators are considering – this sort of so-called “stand your ground” law, or “castle doctrine,” is proven to do the opposite of its intended purpose, which is to protect people. In Florida, for example, the number of “justified homicides” has increased roughly three-fold since the Sunshine State passed its redneck justice bill in 2005. Nevertheless, the NRA has been furiously pushing for these laws across the country, and has so far succeeded in getting at least 27 Bay State lawmakers on board.

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In Harvard Square today, there was a lot of frustration expressed, along with some impassioned spoken word and loud group chants: “He's out brother / He's our son / We are Trayvon / We are one.” But just watch. A group of energetic college activists – loosely assembled as the “Harvard College black community for peace” – is already working with seasoned Boston activists to push the issue further. Students Okie Nwakanma Mariam Braimah – both of Queens, New York – announced that they'll be blasting out messages via their Twitter and Facebook pages. Judging by what went down in Harvard Square, there's sure to be a sequel in the Boston theater of this battle very soon.

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