More evidence is emerging linking one of the principal organizers of Trayvon Martin protests to the attorneys for the Martin family, Benjamin Crump and Daryl Parks.

WND found the organizer, Vanessa Baden, was listed as working for Crump’s and Parks’ firm on the Martin case.

Further, Baden has described Crump and Parks as her “mentors” who “showed me that there was a lot more that we need to be fighting for.”

Baden is the coordinator for Dream Defenders, an activist group that has been leading Martin protests since the onset.

Dream Defenders was behind the protests that blockaded the Sanford Police Department, demanding the police chief be fired for failing to bring charges against George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of second-degree murder Saturday.

The small Community Relations Service at Eric Holder’s Justice Department facilitated a meeting between Baden and city officials that resulted in a Justice review of the police department.

Sanford police chief Bill Lee was ultimately fired. Lee has claimed he was dismissed for not arresting Zimmerman.

Dream Defenders further led protests and marches demanding Zimmerman’s arrest. The group is now organizing protests in the wake of Zimmerman’s acquittal. Yesterday, Dream Defenders demonstrated outside the Seminole County Capitol building and other locations.

Baden was previously a staffer at the Philadelphia office of Obama for America, Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

Baden’s ties to the Florida law firm of Parks & Crump were first revealed by Lee Stranahan at

Stranahan reported Baden’s LinkedIn profile lists her as a current Parks & Crump employee, having been with the firm since 2006.

In an interview with Breitbart News, Crump claimed Baden “was a college student that interned at our office.” He said Baden worked there “many years ago.”

Read today’s full report about the Zimmerman case:


However, as Stranahan reported, Baden’s LinkedIn profile not only states she is a current Parks & Crump employee, it says she serves as the firm’s “Director of Activism” and not an intern.

Now WND has found an interview Baden gave to the YouTube show “Chic Feature” in which she is described as having “worked with the Parks & Crump law firm on the Trayvon Martin case.”

In the interview, Baden hails Parks and Crump as her “mentors” who “showed me that there was a lot more that we need to be fighting for.”

The comment seems to indicate a larger relationship than the one described by Crump in his interview with Breitbart News. In that interview, Crump denied any involvement with Dream Defenders, describing the group as “all young people volunteering.”

SEIU, Southern Poverty Law Center

Dream Defenders bills itself as a nonviolent sustainable network of youth and student leaders fighting for social change. The group says it trains youth and students in civil disobedience, direct action and civic engagement.

Direct action is a key phrase of the radical left. Indeed, in a Huffington Post article referenced by Stranahan, Baden admits that some of her group’s activists “have been trained by the NAACP, SEIU, Children’s Defense Fund, Southern Poverty Law Center and various other organizations, while others have no experience; just commitment.”

Baden is described as being regularly featured on the nationally syndicated radio talk show “Keeping it real with Reverend Al Sharpton.”

Racial template

As a student at Florida State University, Baden was the secretary for a 100-member student group called the Coalition of Justice for Martin Lee Anderson.

The Anderson case has been compared to the Martin case. Anderson was a 14-year-old who died while made to do physical activity at a boot camp-style youth detention center. Anderson had reportedly complained to guards of fatigue during a required run, but he was coerced into continuing when he collapsed. The guards at the center were accused of racism.

Anderson’s family was represented by Crump, while Sharpton reportedly aided Baden’s organization in coordinating Spring Break protests.

Just as in the Martin case, Crump attempted to have the Justice Department bring civil rights charges.

“At this moment in time, we must plead this American cause to the Department of Justice,” Crump said in a November 2007 interview with the Westside Gazette. “The next step would be fighting for Martin Lee Anderson’s civil rights.”

As Breitbart News reported, Baden helped form the Coalition of Justice for Martin Lee Anderson while working at Crump’s firm.

“So I was working there at [Crump’s] office for sometime and the Martin Anderson case came in,” she stated in an interview.

“Martin Anderson is a 14-year-old boy who died at a Sheriff’s Boot Camp in Bay County, and it just kind of happened organically. He brought me in to meetings that they were having, he said I want a young person’s view on it, and I think that Vanessa can handle it. And when I came in, that’s when we started the Students Coalition for Justice, we led the largest student led march in Florida history.”

With research by Brenda J. Elliott

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