Never one to let a tragedy go to waste, Reverend Al Sharpton announced this morning that his National Action Network is planning to “mobilize” protests in 100 cities this weekend against the verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman. The rallies will be staged at federal buildings across the nation on Saturday, though Sharpton did not specify in which cities. He said he hopes the events will encourage the federal government to take action against Zimmerman. Attorney General Eric Holder has pledged to open an investigation of whether Zimmerman can be charged under federal civil-rights laws (NR’s editors oppose the idea; John Yoo and Andy McCarthy have expressed a great deal of skepticism of the idea of the investigation itself).
Sharpton, often known for stoking — rather than helping to extinguish — the fires of racial tension, has played a key role in protests surrounding the trial — within a month after the incident, he led a rally in Sanford, Fla., spoke at a protest in New York’s Union Square, and devoted a great deal of time on his MSNBC show to the story.