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Reverend Jesse Jackson Mobilizes Crowd At 'Free Marissa Alexander Rally' Wednesday Night

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Cyd Hoskinson
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WJCT

A "Free Marissa Alexander" rally drew hundreds to Mount Olive Primitive Baptist Church on the city’s west side Wednesday night. 

Alexander is the 32-year-old mother of 3 who’s serving 20 years in prison for firing a gun inside her home during an argument with her allegedly abusive husband. 

The catalyst for the rally was the acquittal of George Zimmerman for killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, but it was clear Wednesday night that its underlying purpose was mobilization.

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Credit Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT
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WJCT
Rev. Jackson urges, "Vote!"

  The Reverend Jesse Jackson, along with ministers and other leaders of Jacksonville’s African American community, made impassioned pleas for people to get involved in the fight for justice. 

"Join something, sign a petition," they said.

"Vote," urged Jackson. "Want a first class job? Vote about it. Want health care? Vote about it. Want change? Vote about it."

Rachell Heard, who attended the rally, says the call to action came through loud and clear.

“A lot of things, we can fix it. I mean, within our own communities we have the leadership, we just have to stand up and do the things we need to do," Heard says. "No more excuses. The time for excuses is over and it’s time to make some changes.”

A second rally and march is planned for Monday. 

Cyd Hoskinson began working at WJCT on Valentine’s Day 2011.