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At Minneapolis remembrance for Trayvon Martin, Ellison urges not to get 'bitter'

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As cities across the nation held vigils and rallies in remembrance of Trayvon Martin Saturday, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison spoke at the Minneapolis gathering at the federal courthouse downtown.

At Star Tribune reports that "about 100" gathered Saturday afternoon; KARE 11 estimates "more than 200." There was also a large gathering at the annual Rondo Days celebration in St. Paul.

The Minneapolis vigil went an hour and included speeches from several pastors and others urging peace, says the Strib, while some collected signatures for a petition urging the Justice Department to press civil rights charges against George Zimmerman.

Ellison, whose 5th Congressional District encompasses Minneapolis, told the crowd that "It's so important that when crazy unfair miscarriages of justice like this happen that we don't get bitter, we get better."

Former Minneapolis council member Brian Herron also spoke. "We have to challenge the systems that keep perpetuating these injustices," KARE 11 reports that Herron, now a pastor, said.

Martin's parents were at vigils in other parts of the country, according to the Associated Press. His father Tracey Martin spoke at the vigil in Miami. His mother Sybrina Fulton - who was joined by hundreds and music superstars Jay-Z and Beyonce — spoke in New York.

"Not only do I vow to you to do what I can for Trayvon Martin, I promise you I'm going to work hard for your children as well, because it's important," Tracey Martin said.

Closer to home, about 500 residents congregated in Milwaukee, reports the Journal Sentinal.

The rallies came a day after President Barack Obama addressed the nation about the shooting of Martin and the acquittal of Zimmerman and urged Americans to reflect on a case that has dominated the national conversation for weeks.

The Star Tribune also got reaction from many local African Americans at the annual Rondo Days celebration in St. Paul, which honors the loss of that city's first predominantly black neighborhood.

(The Rondo parade and Minneapolis rally may have split the turnout.)

Strib's video is here.

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