The Daily Tar Heel
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The Daily Tar Heel

WASHINGTON, D.C. (MCT) — Rep. Bobby Rush went to the floor of the House of Representatives on Wednesday with two thoughts: a hoodie is not a hat. Nor is it an article of clothing that’s a true measure of an individual.

But when Rush, D-Ill., dramatically shed his suit jacket, donned a pair of sunglasses and pulled a hoodie over his head in a show of solidarity with those protesting the handling of the Trayvon Martin shooting case in Florida, he was scolded for violating House rules of decorum and escorted from the chamber.

For the 65-year-old former 1960s Black Panther Party activist, an act of civil disobedience never felt so good.

“I had recollections of my younger life,” Rush told reporters afterward.

“This came up from inside, the whole thing, it felt good doing it. It’s the least I can do to fight for justice for Trayvon Martin and others.”

Martin, 17, was fatally shot in Sanford, Fla., last month by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood-watch captain who thought Martin looked suspicious.

A 911 attendant advised Zimmerman not to follow Martin. Zimmerman’s lawyer says Martin provoked the confrontation and assaulted Zimmerman, who shot in self-defense. Details of what happened are under investigation.

Martin’s death, and the lack of any arrest in the incident, have sparked a wave of protests nationwide, including people ranging from the Miami Heat basketball team to former Michigan Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm donning hoodies to protest the shooting.

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