After the Verdict: Twitter, the New, Improved Path for Nonviolent Action
Upon the news of the George Zimmerman trial verdict, people took to social media in droves to express their feelings. On the night of July 13, a jury of six women in Sanford, Fla., delivered its verdict of "not guilty."
Twitter was mobbed with millions of tweets about this high profile case. Some of the most popular hash tags were “#Zimmermantrial” and “#nojusticenopeace.”
Although most of the tweets were made in rage or sadness, many of them were in response to the future.
Trayvon Martin supporters were already in line to take further action. A multitude of tweets were posted to encourage others to keep fighting through nonviolent action.
Soon enough, several authorities and institutions weighed in on this high profile case.
President Barack Obama released a statement, saying: "We are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken. …I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son. We should ask ourselves if we're doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis."
At a recent social action luncheon, Attorney General Eric Holder spoke about the verdict.
“We are determined to meet division and confusion with understanding and compassion — and also with truth,” Holder said. “We are resolved, as you are, to combat violence involving or directed at young people, to prevent future tragedies and to deal with the underlying attitudes, mistaken beliefs and stereotypes that serve as the basis for these too common incidents. And we will never stop working to ensure that — in every case, in every circumstance, and in every community — justice must be done.
The president of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) Benjamin Todd Jealous released a statement: "We are outraged and heartbroken over today's verdict. We stand with Trayvon's family and we are called to act. We will pursue civil rights charges with the Department of Justice, we will continue to fight for the removal of Stand Your Ground laws in every state, and we will not rest until racial profiling in all its forms is outlawed."