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Demonstrators hold Trayvon Martin rally in downtown Charleston - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Demonstrators hold Trayvon Martin rally in downtown Charleston

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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

One week after George Zimmerman was found not guilty for the murder of Trayvon Martin, hundreds of people were at the U.S. Customs building in downtown Charleston for a rally.

They formed a circle and stood hand-in-hand praying together on the steps of the customs house. And, they shouted cries of frustration.

"What do we want? Freedom! When do we want it? Right now!" chanted demonstrators.

They carried signs of protest and remembrance for a life they say was taken too soon, sending a message about their feelings for Trayvon Martin.

"He was shot because he was black and he was wearing a hoodie, so they called him a thug. So, I am not a thug, but I am still wearing a hoodie," said one demonstrator.

"I believe that justice was not served," said another.

A group visiting from Florida says they are not surprised by Saturday's rally.

"They walked through city hall with their signs and posters and everything about how justice was not served," said a Gainesville, Florida resident watching the protest with her family.

The rally drew a crowd ranging in both age and race but they all had a common goal to be heard.

Rally organizers took the opportunity to call attention to other issues they say are plaguing African American communities right here in Charleston.

"All these guns are being dumped in our community where our young kids can get them for forty dollars," said Elder James Johnson, the North Charleston pastor who organized the rally. "We don't want no more of that."

Emmanuel Ferguson says he is here to protest South Carolina's Castle Doctrine, a law similar to Florida's Stand Your Ground.

"We just want to make sure that those incidents don't happen here," said Ferguson. "We just want to be proactive and stop it before it starts."

Six-year-old Nyleek Thomas is one of youngest demonstrators today expressing is feelings about Trayvon Martin's death.

"He didn't get a chance to go to college, and I hope I get to go to college," said Thomas.

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