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Floridians Rally Tonight to Support Charleston

PHOTO: A candlelight vigil will be held in Fort Lauderdale tonight to remember the victims of the Charleston, South Carolina church shooting. Photo credit: Darren Hester/Morguefile.
PHOTO: A candlelight vigil will be held in Fort Lauderdale tonight to remember the victims of the Charleston, South Carolina church shooting. Photo credit: Darren Hester/Morguefile.
June 23, 2015

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Activists are holding a vigil in Fort Lauderdale tonight to honor the nine victims of the church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. The rally and march are intended to show solidarity with the Charleston community.

Cassia Laham, an organizer of the event with People's Opposition to War, Imperialism and Racism (POWIR), says the Charleston tragedy didn't come out of the blue.

"Over the past few years we've seen a rise in white-on-black violence," she says. "Killers go unpunished, and hate signs like the Confederate flag being flown over government buildings, which represents slavery and bigotry."

A so-called manifesto written by the alleged Charleston shooter said he was motivated by the Trayvon Martin case in Sanford, Florida, in 2012.

Laham says many Floridians haven't gotten over it either.

"We have a wound that has not healed, and it will not be healed until as a society we address these issues," she says.

The public is encouraged to attend this evening's rally and related events. The rally begins at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, located at 2650 Sistrunk Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale, at 6 p.m.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - FL