Berkeley High students held a rally and march Thursday in support of justice for Trayvon Martin. Photos: Tracey Taylor

Several hundred Berkeley High School students left their classes Thursday afternoon to stage a rally calling for justice for Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old high schooler who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, Fla. on Feb. 26.

Students, some of them wearing hoodies with the hoods up and carrying packets of Skittles and cans of iced tea, as was Martin on the day he died, gathered at 2:45 pm in the main courtyard at BHS before marching off campus, down Allston Way to convene outside Old City Hall.

There, they were addressed first by Berkeley High student Nikko Butler, who was using a megaphone to organize and speak to the rally. Several representatives of the Nation of Islam also addressed the crowd.

Students and some staff gathered on the steps of the BHS Community Theater before marching to Old City Hall

BHS Principal Pasquale Scuderi, as well as several members of the school’s staff, were on hand during the demonstration.

“We want justice for Trayvon Martin because he was killed for no other reason than he was black,” said student Yakira Evans.

Maryel Norris, a teacher at Berkeley High, was holding a photograph of Martin in front of her. “It is such an afront that this vigilante is walking around after killing this baby,” she said.

Nation of Islam representatives addressed the rally outside Old City Hall at around 3:15pm

The rally happened on the same day that California lawmakers donned hoodies at a Capitol press conference in Sacramento and members of the Black, Latino and Asian Pacific Islander caucuses called on the federal government to intervene in the investigation. Earlier in the day, state Sen. Curren Price (D-Inglewood) presided over the state Senate in a hoodie.

George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer, told police that Martin looked suspicious because he was hearing a hoodie.

Berkeleyside publishes many articles every day. To see all our stories in chronological order, and read ones you may have missed, check out All the News.

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...