Boycott of Spring Break '07 in Panama City initiated by Student Protest Group

Florida State and F-A-M-U college students are calling for a boycott of Panama City Beach this spring break to draw attention to concerns surrounding the Martin Lee Anderson case.

Seven guards and a nurse from the now-closed Bay County Boot Camp are charged with manslaughter for the suffocation death of the 14-year-old boy last year.

Florida State University students say they are concerned a trial date has yet to be scheduled, and have called the Spring Break Boycott for college students nationwide to send a message to elected officials and those in the criminal justice system.

F-S-U stuident Vanessa Baden says the group wants to send a message. "That’s what we’re hoping to send. We’re hoping to let them know that we will go no holds barred and we will do anything that it takes including withholding our taxpaying dollars and all the money that comes in to Panama City through Spring Break in making sure that Martin Lee Anderson sees justice.”

Cindy Motta, also an F-S-U student says the students are also upset that some Panama City citizens have started a defense fund for the guards. “While we see good thing to see a group of people come together on any issue, we find it unfortunate that they came together to defend a group of men who chose to abuse their privilege in the case of Martin Lee Anderson instead of defending Martin Lee Anderson, a boy who could not defend himself.”

Students say some national civil rights figures including the Rev. Al Sharpton are helping them organize the Spring Break Boycott.

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