WWJ organizes march in support of Martin

Joliet Herald News
Cindy Cain

JOLIET — A march in support of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teen who was shot and killed on Feb. 26, will begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Sacred Heart Church, 337 S. Ottawa St., and continue to the Will County Courthouse, 14 W. Jefferson St., said Cindy Marble, a community organizer for Warehouse Workers for Justice.

The march is being organized by WWJ and the Interfaith Action Committee, a Will County group devoted to social justice issues.

Marchers are being encouraged to wear hoodies. Martin was wearing a hoodie when George Zimmerman, a member of a Neighborhood Watch group, said the teen looked “suspicious.” Zimmerman called 911 and followed the teen. The two tangled in the dark and an unarmed Martin was shot and killed by Zimmerman.

The case has ignited passions around the country. Some people are calling for Zimmerman to be arrested for murdering the teen. Others are defending Zimmerman’s actions as self defense.

Marble said the shooting doesn’t make sense to her.

“You’re black and you have a hoodie on and that makes you suspicious,” she said.

The march is a good way for WWJ, a group working to improve conditions for employees in area warehouses, to expand its presence in the community, Marble said.

“We care about the community,” she said. “We want to branch out into other avenues.”

March organizers are linking the Martin case to what happened to Elwood warehouse worker Priscilla Marshall.

“There are a lot of similarities,” said Charlotte Droogan, a lay community minister from the Universalist Unitarian Church of Joliet who is a member of the Interfaith Action Committee.

Marshall is a 20-year-old Hispanic woman who claimed she was sexually harassed at the warehouse. She filed a police report in August 2010, but she was subsequently arrested on felony theft charges after her bosses said she stole from the warehouse.

A lawyer representing Marshall and others who supported her harassment claims said the criminal charges were retaliation for her sexual harassment claims.

“They (Martin and Marshall) are both young people and their perpetrators are still at large,” Droogan said. “And they’re both kids of color.”

For information on the march, call WWJ at 888-344-6432.

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