JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Local clergy and other leaders met in Jacksonville Tuesday to discuss the upcoming 'Justice For Ahmaud March' in Brunswick.
Rev. Jesse L. Jackson was the main speaker during the press conference, which began at 4:40 p.m.
Throughout his presence this week, Jackson has provided comfort to the Arbery family, particularly during the more difficult moments of the week's proceedings inside the courtroom during the trial of the three men accused of murdering Arbery.
In one moment, Jackson took the arms of both of Arbery's parents when a state witness showed the shotgun that ultimately killed Arbery.
Earlier Tuesday, Jackson was pictured holding the hand of Arbery's father, Marcus Arbery Sr., as they addressed the media.
During the press conference announcing the march, Jackson said it is imperative for activists to take part in the event to fight for equality.
“We cannot get used to being killed. We must fight back," the reverend explained. "We must not color justice. We must be indivisible of all people.”
The march is just one even weeklong series of events during the trial of the three men accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery. These events, hosted by the Transformative Justice Coalition, come in the days after defense attorney Kevin Gough, who represents William ‘Roddie’ Bryan, made controversial comments last week.
"We don’t want any more black pastors coming in here," Gough said.
He even asked the judge to prohibit Jackson from attending court with the family, and to monitor and track those who do come into the courtroom. Gough said he made the motion because he thinks high profile black pastors could influence the jury.
The events for the remainder of the week are as follows:
Thursday - 11/18
- 10 a.m. Prayer & Court Watch
- 12 p.m. Lunch w/Arbery Family
- 3 p.m. Justice for Ahmaud march
- 8 p.m. National Tele-Town Hal
Friday - 11/19
- 10 a.m. Prayer & Court Watch
- 12 p.m. Lunch w/ Arbery Family
- 6 p.m. Candlelight Vigil & Prayer
The organizers said the gatherings will be a display of love and support for the grieving Arbery family.
“It hurts. You couldn’t take a knife and cut somebody and it hurt as bad as this hurts. To watch those photos, to watch those videos. To hear somebody say they trapped their son like a rat," Barbara Arnwine, Transformative Justice Coalition President explained. "I mean it has been painful, and what Reverend Jackson has done is sat there and held their hand.“
Arnwine said her organization will also be funding hotels for up to 50 pastors who would like to Brunswick to attend Thursday's events.
Arbery was shot and killed on Feb. 23, 2020. Cellphone video leaked to the public shows two armed white men in a truck approaching the 25-year-old Black man as he runs down the road. One of the men, later identified as Travis McMichael, and Arbery struggle over McMichael's shotgun before Arbery is shot and collapses.
Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan, who recorded the video, are all charged with murder in Arbery's death.
This story will be updated.