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Stevie Wonder to boycott Florida after Trayvon Martin verdict

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Jul 16, 2013 | 4:13am EDT

Stevie Wonder has vowed never to perform in Florida again until a controversial self-defence law is abolished following the acquittal of the man who gunned down teenager Trayvon Martin. Neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was found not guilty of murder and manslaughter charges by a Florida jury on Saturday (13Jul13) after claiming he shot the unarmed 17 year old in self-defence in February, 2012. Although the state's 'Stand Your Ground' law was not used to sway the jury, it has come under renewed scrutiny as it allows a person to defend themselves with force wherever "they have a legal right to be". Now Wonder has announced he will boycott Florida and the other 22 other U.S. states which carry similar laws until they are overturned. Speaking to fans at a show in Quebec City, Canada on Sunday (14Jul13), the singer said, "I decided today that until the Stand Your Ground law is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again. 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. "The truth is that... for those of you who've lost (loved ones) in the battle for justice... we can't bring them back. 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." Zimmerman's acquittal has sparked mass protests across America, with a number of stars including Beyonce, her sister Solange Knowles, Rihanna, Chris Brown and Miley Cyrus speaking out against the verdict. Veteran soul singer Lester Chambers was hospitalised on Saturday (13Jul13) after he was attacked by a woman at the Hayward Russell City Blues festival in California for dedicating a song to Martin.

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