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Announcement :: Human Rights : Race
Cambridge gathering to support the Jena 6
19 Sep 2007
Thursday September 20, 2007
5:30-7:30

Meet at the Holyoke Center at Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA to walk to Cambridge City Hall to protest the injustices against 6 teens in Jena, LA
Taken from the facebook group "Boston Demands Justice for the Jena 6!":

"Join in the fight against the racist (in)justice system and demand freedom for the Jena 6!

Gather at the Harvard Square and March to Cambridge City Hall!

www.freethejena6.org

The story:
Last fall in Jena, the day after two Black high school students sat beneath the "white tree" on their campus, nooses were hung from the tree. When the superintendent dismissed the nooses as a "prank," more Black students sat under the tree in protest.

The District Attorney then came to the school accompanied by the town's police and demanded that the students end their protest, telling them, "I can be your best friend or your worst enemy... I can take away your lives with a stroke of my pen."

A series of white-on-black incidents of violence followed, and the DA did nothing. But when a white student was beaten up in a schoolyard fight, the DA responded by charging six black students with attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

It's a story that reads like one from the Jim Crow era, when judges, lawyers and all-white juries used the justice system to keep blacks in "their place." But it's happening today. The families of these young men are fighting back, but the story has gotten minimal press. Together, we can make sure their story is told and that the Governor of Louisiana intervenes and provides justice for the Jena 6.

The noose-hanging incident and the DA's visit to the school set the stage for everything that followed. Racial tension escalated over the next couple of months, and on November 30, the main academic building of Jena High School was burned down in an unsolved fire. Later the same weekend, a black student was beaten up by white students at a party. The next day, black students at a convenience store were threatened by a young white man with a shotgun. They wrestled the gun from him and ran away. While no charges were filed against the white man, the students were later arrested for the theft of the gun.

That Monday at school, a white student, who had been a vocal supporter of the students who hung the nooses, taunted the black student who was beaten up at the off-campus party and allegedly called several black students "nigger." After lunch, he was knocked down, punched and kicked by black students. He was taken to the hospital, but was released and was well enough to go to a social event that evening.

Six Black Jena High students, Robert Bailey (17), Theo Shaw (17), Carwin Jones (18), Bryant Purvis (17), Mychal Bell (16) and an unidentified minor, were expelled from school, arrested and charged with second-degree attempted murder.

The first trial has ended and Mychal Bell, who has been in prison since December, was convicted of aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated battery (both felonies) by an all-white jury in a trial where his public defender called no witnesses. During his trial, Mychal's parents were ordered not to speak to the media and the court prohibited protests from taking place near the courtroom or where the judge could see them.

On September 14th, an appeals court judge reversed the conviction on the grounds that Mychal shouldn't have been tried as an adult. However, the DA says he'll appeal the decision, and still plans to try the other five young men."

http://youtube.com/watch?v=YuoiZnr4jLY&mode=related&search=
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeFkIj8HbZw
See also:
http://freethejena6.org/
http://northeastern.facebook.com/event.php?eid=4887604905

This work is in the public domain
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