"A rally is an opportunity to let the voices they thought were going to go in silence be heard."
Those voices rang loud and clear in front of the federal courthouse one week after the George Zimmerman verdict. The national action network organized justice rallies across the country, seeking to bring federal charges against Zimmerman.
"We are the democracy, we are the jury, if six jurors get it wrong, we have to show them that this is the majority rule," speaker and radio host Sherwin Hughes said. " We got it right."
Hundreds of people signed petitions and listened to politicians, lawyers and religious leaders. Their words all revolved around equality and love.
"It is critically important that we spread that message on the streets of milwaukee every single day as we continue to fight legally and communally for justice and righteousness," Alderwoman Miele Coggs said.
But it wasn't just community leaders organizing. Students with 'Youth Empowered in the Struggle' met at Red Arrow Park to march to the rally. 14-year-old Rafael Diaz wants people to know kids like him are standing up for justice too.
"When you see an african american get killed on the streets, a lot of people resolve it all to gang violence or something along those lines," Diaz said. "They don't think of who he was as a person. Was he involved in his community? Was he involved in his church? Did he play sports?"
Speakers hope that kind of mindset resonates across the community and nation today.
"How do we change and get to the point where we see the good in people first before we see the bad," attorney Jonathan Safran said. "When do we change from talking past people to talking with other people?"