SANFORD, Fla. — The Rev. Al Sharpton said Friday his National Action Network will “move to the next level” if George Zimmerman is not arrested in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
Sharpton called for an escalation in peaceful civil disobedience and economic sanctions, although he did not say what those sanctions might be.
Turner Clayton, the Seminole County chapter president of the NAACP, reacted immediately to Sharpton’s warning, saying, “We hope that the citizens of Sanford will govern themselves accordingly. We are not calling for any sanctions, against any business or anyone else. And, of course, what Rev. Sharpton does, that’s strictly the [National] Action Network. We can’t condone that part of the conversation, if that’s what he said.”
Clayton said he believes that the expected 3,000 people who will attend Saturday’s march and rally in Sanford will realize the difference between Sharpton’s message and the NAACP’s mission.
“I don’t think they can confuse that,” Clayton said. “It’s just that they will have to make a judgment as to whether they want to follow the mission of the NAACP or follow what the Rev. Sharpton said.”
Clayton said that the rallies are going to show support from the community and show the special prosecutor that “we are interested in what happened, and we’re not going to stand by and let them do something that the people of Sanford will not accept.”
Saturday’s rally will begin with a march from the Crooms Academy to the Sanford Police Department on 13th Street. The march begins at 11 a.m. and is hosted by the NAACP.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson is expected to attend, along with Sharpton, who is expected to deliver specifics on his warning.