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Stevie Wonder to boycott Florida, 'stand your ground' states following Zimmerman verdict

Posted By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com   |   July 16, 2013 at 3:30 PM   |   Comments

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July 16 (UPI) -- Following the not-guilty verdict in the Zimmerman trial, soul singer Stevie Wonder has said he would boycott the state of Florida until it repeals its "stand your ground" law.

He said he would also skip over states with similar laws -- 22 of them, if Wonder has done his research.

"I decided today that until the 'stand your ground' law is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again," Wonder, 63, said at a concert in Quebec on Sunday. "As a matter of fact, wherever I find that law exists, I will not perform in that state or in that part of the world."

Stand your ground laws allow people to use force on someone else if they perceive a threat of danger. The law played a central role in determining whether George Zimmerman would be convicted of murder or manslaughter in the death of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman was found not guilty, as his actions were considered self-defense under the stand your ground law.

"The truth is that -- for those of you who've lost in the battle for justice, wherever that fits in any part of the world -- we can't bring them back," Wonder continued. "What we can do is we can let our voices be heard. And we can vote in our various countries throughout the world for change and equality for everybody. That's what I know we can do."

In 1991, Wonder boycotted the state of Arizona after the state refused to recognize Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, until the decision was reversed in 1993.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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