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Bikers Join the NAACP at State Capitol Rally for Justice

BY LaShawn Hudson Contributing Writer | 7/29/2013, 10:51 a.m.
(Photo by Vincent Christie.)

ATLANTA— Nicole Dwarika, along with her son and three daughters stood boldly on the concrete steps of the State Capitol building in downtown Atlanta Sunday. Dressed in blue jeans and white T-shirts they chanted the phrase, “We Want Justice!”, with other peaceful protesters.

The Dwarika family stood amid the crowd in a straight line from tallest to shortest. Each of their shirts was individually stamped with one solid burgundy letter. Together, from left to right, their shirts spelled out the word U-N-I-T-E.

“We are here today to unite,” said Nicole Dwarika, 32 of East Atlanta.

“ It’s very important that my son is here to participate in this rally for change.”

Protesters and motorcyclists had gathered in unity Sunday with the NAACP at the Capitol to implore the Department of Justice to file federal and civil rights violation charges against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Georgia State Conference NAACP President Edward O. DuBose, told the Atlanta Voice this: “We are hoping that this attention will send a message to President Obama, (Attorney General) Eric Holder and the Department of Justice to file federal charges against George Zimmerman.”

To help deliver that message louder and clearer, hundreds of members of the Trained To Go Motorcycle Club paraded from the Sam’s Club on Turner Hill Road in Lithonia to the State Capitol on Washington Street.

“We had to cut the number of riders off at 700,” said Charles Ingram, the president of the Motorcycle club. “Everybody was still coming, trying to participate in the ride.”

Bikers from throughout the metro Atlanta area participated in the motorcade. Their colorful bikes flooded the road lanes surrounding the building. Their roaring engines encouraged the swelling crowd to chant, “We are Trayon!”

Unity and peace were the overarching themes of the protest.

“It’s about peace.” shouted one of the bikers from the crowd. “It’s not about violence. Violence was done to us, but we want to keep the peace. “

Between the cries for justice emanating from the crowd, organizers, activists and community leaders gave speeches. WAOK radio talk show host Lorraine Jacques White was the moderator.

The crowd was emotionally moved when Cobb County’s Lucia MacBath approached the podium.

She told her story about losing her son, Jordan Davis, last November to gun violence.

Davis was fatally shot at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida; allegedly by Michael Dunn, 45, after a verbal dispute over loud music. Dunn has pleaded “not guilty” and is using Florida’s “stand your ground” law to fight his pending trial in late September.

MacBath told the Atlanta Voice that she’s absolutely anxious about Dunn’s trial in the aftermath of the George Zimmerman trial.

“The cases are very similar, but they are very different,” said MacBath. “We are just praying and believing that the court will be a little more judicious.”

She further explained that the justice she seeks is to see “stand your ground” laws changed.

“We’re going to do everything in our power to get this law amended,” said MacBath. “We have the power to influence our legislation. We are the constituents. The only power we have is our voices.”

“We have to vote.” she added. “We have to lobby. And we have to call our legislators.”

Onlookers stared in tears as McBath spoke. She concluded her speech with these words: “I will fight for the legacy of my son. Who will you fight for?”.

Georgia state Senator Vincent Fort spoke after MacBath. He commended her for her strength. He told the crowd that they must stand in unity and continue to fight in order for the “stand your ground” law to be repealed.

“I have drafted a revision for the state of Georgia’s ‘stand your ground law,” said Fort. “But, we're only asking that it be repealed.”