“You can kill a dog—Michael Vick—and go to jail … kill a Black man, and you walk. Brother Plaxico Burress: You can shoot yourself, and they’ll send you to jail … but kill a Black man, and [if] you’re white, you walk,” boomed Councilman Charles Barron. “Fifty bullets for Sean Bell, 41 for Amadou Diallo … they walked. Timothy Stansbury, going to a party on the rooftop, bullet in the heart … they walked. We got to come together and say to this system that there must be consequences when you take our lives; we’re not animals!”

George Zimmerman smirked shortly after it was announced that he was acquitted on Saturday night of all murder and manslaughter charges in the shooting death of the unarmed Trayvon Martin.

And then, he was told he could get his gun back—the same weapon used on Feb. 26, 2012, to gun down Martin in an unprovoked attack initiated by Zimmerman, a self-proclaimed neighborhood watchman who was “stalking” the 17-year-old as he returned to his father’s home in a gated community in Sandford, Fla. Martin was armed with a can of iced tea and a packet of candy.

The racially polarizing case had the nation holding its breath for three weeks, but as people were glued to their TVs, computer monitors or radios for the 10 p.m. Saturday night verdict, the shocking result was revealed.

It was quickly replaced by cries of anger and calls for justice. Passions and tensions were high as millions of people turned out in dozens of states to protest the verdict. Freeways were shut down with marching protestors. Larry Hamm’s People’s Organization for Progress shut down one of the busiest intersections in Newark.

New York City was also buzzing with a series of loud marches in Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx.

The December 12th Movement held a rally on Sunday evening in front of Harlem’s Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building. Activists and the general public vented their frustrations, many echoing Malcolm X’s uncompromising advocacy for self-defense.

They chanted, “No justice, no peace!” and “Trayvon Martin, resist!” Coltrane Chimurenga, field marshal of the Black Men’s Movement Against Crack, stated, “There will be no peace today. The only thing we can express is rage. We will make sure that they will pay for what has happened to one of our children. We cannot ask them for justice anymore!”

Brother Karriem, a member of the Freedom Party, stepped up, stating: “Brother Malcolm X said, 50 years ago, if anyone comes in your community and attacks and kills your people, you have the right, as a human being, to do the same thing to those people.”

Barron expressed the sentiment of many who say the verdict was a foregone conclusion before the case even began—even before the selection of the jury of five white women and one Latina.

“We should’ve been angry from the beginning, before it even started, because you knew what the outcome was going to be. If the states and courts aren’t going to protect us, if the police murder us more than they protect us, then we’re going to have to protect ourselves … by any means necessary!”

Economic sanctions against the state of Florida are just one suggestion being repeated ad nauseum as a tactical retaliation.

Folks also talked about Jordan Davis, a Black youth killed by a white male in Jacksonville, Fla.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama advised: “I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher. But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken. I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection.”

Chimurenga said, “The only language they will ever understand, in the words of Malcolm X, is an eye for an eye, a life for a life. If they spill our blood, their blood must be spilled too! There’s not going to be another day where our people are going to allow the courts, police or any law enforcement agency to take the life of one of ours and we remain silent!”

Omowale Clay of the December 12th Movement concluded: “Somebody has got to pay! These streets we earned from Brother Malcolm X. He told us that America had a problem, and the problem was us. Every day, hour and minute, our children look up to grown men and women to ask them, ‘Will I have a future that you will guarantee for me?’ and we have to look at our children and say to them either they are going to have a life that’s meaningful or there cannot be business as usual. Trayvon must be answered!”

The crowd roared their approval, as Clay continued: “We can only say that the answer for him should be in the language that has been spoken to us. Trayvon, the end!”

Minister Doug pleaded: “Brothers have to stop killing brothers. Malcolm X told us there are two ways to fight the enemy: Either hit ’em over the head or hit ’em in the pockets. We [have] got to shut Florida down economically!”

“Justice for Trayvon,” shouted singer Solange Knowles in unison with a huge crowd she had called to Brooklyn’s Borough Hall on Sunday evening.

During her Nashville concert, Solange’s sister Beyoncé held a moment of silence for Martin and then sang “Halo.”

Solange, 27, carried a sign declaring a Malcolm X quote: “I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against.” Solange mingled with and spoke to the crowd, reflecting the anger and sadness many of them felt.

“Seeing and gathering with people today/tonight all for the same fight helped to restore my faith in humanity,” she stated in a tweet later.

“Justice was not served in Florida, but the life and death of Trayvon Martin will never be forgotten,” said lawyer Ken Thompson, candidate for Brooklyn district attorney.

“As we continue to mourn the senseless loss of this young man, let us come together to reflect on this grave injustice and fight to make sure that what happened to Trayvon never happens again.”

Activists have scheduled vigils for this Saturday, July 20 at federal court buildings in more than 100 cities across the country. They will demand that the federal government pursue civil rights violations against Zimmerman.

Comedian Chris Rock tweeted, “The biggest irony is that George Zimmerman will never be able to go out in public without a hoodie ever again.”