Need your support to help stop innocent Black kids from going to jail?

Last fall in Jena, Louisiana, 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... show more Last fall in Jena, Louisiana, 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."1

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 odds are stacked against them. Together, we can make sure their story is told, that this becomes an issue for the Governor of Louisiana, and that justice is provided for the Jena 6. It starts now. Please add your voice:

http://www.colorofchange.org/jena/?id=19...

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 arrested for the theft of the gun.2

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 "******." 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.3

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. Bail was set so high -- between $70,000 and $138,000 -- that the boys were left in prison for months as families went deep into debt to release them.4

The first trial ended last month, 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.

Mychal is scheduled to be sentenced on July 31st, and could go to jail for 22 years.5 Theo Shaw's trial is next. He will finally make bail this week.

The Jena Six are lucky to have parents and loved ones who are fighting tooth and nail to free them. They have been threatened but they are standing strong. We know that if the families have to go it alone, their sons will be a long time coming home. They will lose precious years to Jena's outrageous attempt to maintain a racist status quo. But if we act now, we can make a difference.

Please add your voice to the voices of these families in Jena, and help bring Mychal, Theo, Robert, Carwin, and Bryant home. By clicking below, you can demand that Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco get involved to make sure that justice is served for Mychal Bell, and that DA Reed Walters drop the charges against the 5 boys who have not yet gone to trial.

http://www.colorofchange.org/jena/?id=19...

Thank You and Peace,

-- James, Van, Gabriel, Clarissa, and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team
July 17th, 2007
Update: References: 1. "Injustice in Jena as Nooses Hang From the ‘White Tree,'" truthout, July 3, 2007 http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/070307B.shtml 2. "Racial demons rear heads," Chicago Tribune, May 20, 2007 http://tinyurl.com/yvh7t5 3. See reference #1. 4. See reference #1.... show more References:
1. "Injustice in Jena as Nooses Hang From the ‘White Tree,'" truthout, July 3, 2007
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/070307...

2. "Racial demons rear heads," Chicago Tribune, May 20, 2007
http://tinyurl.com/yvh7t5

3. See reference #1.
4. See reference #1.

5. "'Jena Six' defendant convicted," Town Talk, June 29, 2007
http://tinyurl.com/ysxtgg

Other resources:

NPR: Searching for Justice in Jena 6 Case (streaming audio)
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11756302

Democracy Now! - The case of the Jena Six ...
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/07/10/1413220

Too Sense: Free The Jena Six Now
http://halfricanrevolution.blogspot.com/2007/07/free-jena-six-now.html

While Seated: Jena Six
http://www.whileseated.org/photo/003244.shtml

Nooses, attacks and jail for black students in Jena Louisiana
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/6/28/144445/384

Justice In Jena, by Jordan Flaherty
http://www.zmag.
Update 2: shericomes - if you knew how to read, it said that a series of white on black violence happened, but when 6 Blacks did the same (which 2 wrongs don't make a right) they were arrested. Nothing happened to the white kids the did violence to the Blacks.
Update 3: thanks PsyMai, and to those that don't understand where I'm coming from, it's not that I'm saying that they were right for jumping that kid, but to get charged for attempted homocide and conspiracy to commit murder is just plain wrong. What about the students that hung the nooses and attacked the... show more thanks PsyMai, and to those that don't understand where I'm coming from, it's not that I'm saying that they were right for jumping that kid, but to get charged for attempted homocide and conspiracy to commit murder is just plain wrong. What about the students that hung the nooses and attacked the Black kids? None of them got charged for anything not even the obvious, hate crime.
Update 4: Please get your stats right. According to the Hate Crime Stats of 2005 conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice — Federal Bureau of Investigation Release Date: October 2006 http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/hc2005/offenders.htm By Race An analysis of available race data for the 6,804 known hate crime offenders... show more Please get your stats right. According to the Hate Crime Stats of 2005 conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice — Federal Bureau of Investigation
Release Date: October 2006
http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/hc2005/offenders....

By Race
An analysis of available race data for the 6,804 known hate crime offenders revealed that:

60.5 percent were white.
19.9 percent were black.
12.3 percent were unknown.
5.2 percent were groups made up of individuals of various races (multiple races, group).
1.1 percent of known offenders were American Indian/Alaskan Native.
0.9 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander.
Update 5: Fort T - it seems that you can't read either. If you read it right yourself, you would have noticed that these Black kids were already jumped and attacked by White kids themselves. Yes it was cowardly for them to jump the lone White boy but for none of the White kids that beat them up were arrested and charged,... show more Fort T - it seems that you can't read either. If you read it right yourself, you would have noticed that these Black kids were already jumped and attacked by White kids themselves. Yes it was cowardly for them to jump the lone White boy but for none of the White kids that beat them up were arrested and charged, it's about justice. And if justice can't be served to all, then it can't just be served to some. That's my point. Being charged with assult and battery, fine I can live with that, but attempted murder??? That's crazy.
Update 6: Thanks Clark E please go to http://www.colorofchange.org/jena/?id=2310-147793 Also please note, no one was beaten almost to dealth. The younge white man that was beaten was released the same day from the hospital and went to a social event later that evening. Please read the article more carefully before... show more Thanks Clark E please go to http://www.colorofchange.org/jena/?id=23...

Also please note, no one was beaten almost to dealth. The younge white man that was beaten was released the same day from the hospital and went to a social event later that evening. Please read the article more carefully before answering. Thanks!
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