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Please support the Jena 6 Students: on Thursday, Sept. 20

UPDATE: Excerpts from a USA Today article:

“The NAACP expects as many as 60,000 people from more than 30 cities to descend this week on Jena, La., a poor, rural community of 3,000 at the center of a racially charged case involving six black high school students…”

“National civil rights activists Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and
Martin Luther King III
say they will attend Thursday’s rally.”

-end USA Today excerpt

Have you been wanting to go visit Louisiana since Katrina? Besides witnessing the problems caused by the inaction of our government before, during and after Katrina, and helping with that ongoing rebuilding, there is now an extra reason for a peace and justice activists to make the trip to Louisiana: Stand up for justice, protect some school-age youth who were caught up in racial conflict.

There will be a rally in the hometown of the 6 African-American young men from Jena, Louisiana who were unfairly charged as adults, when they had a schoolyard fight, after white students frightened them by hanging nooses in a tree. [Gulp. Yes! Gulp. That happened, nooses were hung as a warning to black people, in this day and age that happened.]

In addition, there will be other local protests, including one in San Francisco. And, there are many web-sites to register your sentiments to the government or courts, and/or donate money for the defense of the young men.

If you cannot go to Louisiana, you could wear black to school or work, to show solidarity with the Jena 6 Students. Found this action at: www.progressiveu.org

Here is some coverage from Democracy Now!:

Thousands Expected to March in Jena to Protest Pending Charges Against High School Students

Thousands of people are expected to gather in Jena, Louisiana on Thursday to protest the pending charges against six African American high school students. Last week, a Louisiana appeals court threw out the conviction of 17-year-old Mychal Bell. Bell was supposed to have been sentenced for attempted second-degree battery this Thursday. He has been jailed since January, unable to meet his $90,000 bond. We speak with Lewis Scott.

Thousands of people are expected to gather in Jena, Louisiana on Thursday to protest the pending charges against six African American high school students. Last week the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the conviction of 17-year-old Mychal Bell. The court ruled that he should not have been tried as an adult. Bell was supposed to have been sentenced for attempted second-degree battery this Thursday.Mychal Bell and five other students were arrested for beating a white student during a schoolyard fight last year. The fight occurred after white students hung three nooses on a tree in the schoolyard.

Bell has been jailed since January unable to meet his $90,000 bond. As of this morning he remains in prison waiting for his new bond to be posted. The Associated Press is reporting that District Attorney Reed Walters plans to appeal Bell’s overturned conviction at the Louisiana Supreme Court.

One year after the nooses were hung from the tree, the case of the Jena 6 is drawing thousands to the small town of Jena this Thursday. Mychal Bell is the only one of the Jena Six who remains in prison. But it’s been ten months since the boys were arrested for the schoolyard fight and seventeen-year-old Bryant Purvis hasn’t even been arraigned. The court has just set his arraignment date for the first week of November. He is the only remaining member of the Jena Six to be charged as an adult with attempted second-degree murder.I spoke to Bryant Purvis’s mother Tina Jones earlier this month. We met on the front porch of her house in Goodpine, an all Black community just outside of Jena. Bryant Purvis was expelled from Jena High School and is now studying in Dallas, Texas and living with his uncle Jason Hatcher. Hatcher grew up in Jena but plays professional football for the Dallas Cowboys. I began by asking Tina Jones to explain what her son has been charged with.

– end Democracy Now! blurb

Info on rally from NAACP web-site:

WHEN: Thursday, September 20, 2007

* 7:00 a.m. Assemble at Ward 10 Recreation Park
* 8:00 a.m. Rally begins
* 12:00 p.m. Rally ends
* 4:00 p.m. Pubic Town Hall Meeting at the Holiday Inn Convention Center, 701 Fourth Street, Alexandria, LA
Focus: Restoring the Human Right to Education: Abolishing the School to Prison Pipeline
* 7:00 p.m. Adjournment

WHERE: March begins at: Ward 10 Recreation Park in Jena, LA

Bus transportation:
Bus arrangements have been made to transport individuals from the Alexandria Convention Center to Ward 10 Recreation Park. Parking is strongly discouraged in Jena due to limited space in this small town.

FOOD/ATTIRE:
All participants should bring their own food, water, clothing and chairs. Please be prepared to encounter rural outdoor conditions, such as dirt paths, and walk considerable distances. It is strongly encouraged that individuals dress comfortably and wear appropriate walking shoes.

CONTACTS:
NAACP Louisiana State Conference
(225) 334-7490

NAACP National Headquarters
(888) 362-8683

3 Responses

  1. I on my way, if the lord’s willing. 903-691-4519. Atlanta, Tx. Representing.

  2. We need to stand together on this, our children are not treated fairly, here in Orlando its rough, there is a Shannon L Johnson in prison for 4 yrs for what?
    he was in prison for 2 yrs on a robery charge, no weapon, he made it to work release had 1 month to go home, there was so much drug in that place he was so afraid he asked for help but he was treatened , and so he walked out it was leave or die, he went to his mom, who was very sick, they came for him a few days later, his mom also died a few days later. Now the price he has to pay is 4 yrs in prison, he asked for help told them what happened. this kid has never gotten help and has always asked for it. They said they don’t care, and locked him up. What can we do about this, there is no Justice for our children. They need help not to be locked up Lets help change this. Treat our children fairly.

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