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ONLY ON 3: Groups quiet about local violence holding Trayvon Martin rallies Saturday

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The not guilty verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman has spawned nationwide protests and rallies. This weekend peace rallies in Trayvon Martin's name will be held here in our area.

So we asked why the groups organizing the events were not so vocal after a few local murders and the recent rash of violence in Wilmington.

The New Hanover County Chapter of the NAACP and the group No Covers are joining the cause, hosting a peace rally in Martin's name Saturday at 5 p.m. at the 1898 Memorial downtown on N. 3rd St.

"We have a problem with black males being extinct, their lives being meaningless," Daawud El-Amin of No Covers said. "So we are going to use this to say, 'You're mad at Zimmerman, but what about your brother?'"

Yet, there have been several local murder cases over the last few years, and these organizations have seemed to keep a low profile about the violence. So we posed the question why murders like that of Chinese delivery driver Zhen Bo Liu and CFCC student Joshua Proutey did not provoke groups like No Covers to host a rally.

"We went on record for having a talk show about those murders and condemning those responsible," he said.

We asked the New Hanover County NAACP where it was during the recent rash of violence in Wilmington.

"Our mission statement is to end political, educational and social discrimination," president Deborah Dicks Maxwell said.

One person has been killed during this summer's shootings in the Port City: Jeffrey Henry, who like Martin was 17 and black.

El-Amin says although Martin's death happened in Florida, its effects transcend borders.

"It has everything to do with us, because now we're saying it's ok to pursue an unarmed person walking home and it's OK to pursue him and shoot him and actually murder him," El-Amin said.

Another prayer vigil and rally for Martin is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. in front of the Brunswick County Courthouse in Bolivia.

Addressing the recent rash of local violence, Brunswick County churches are joining together Monday to host a meeting about what they can do to make a positive impact.

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