[Sayma-Discuss] (no subject)

Free Polazzo freepolazzo at comcast.net
Wed Aug 8 16:33:25 EDT 2007

Dear Friend,

For those of you who are not on the "Color of Change" e-mail list, 
this message is one that could use your attention.

Please pass it on.



There is a case, here in Dougas County GA, which also has a white DA 
locking up 6 black teenage boys for 10 years for doing something that 
would usually get much less time and whose offense is now a 
misdemeanor.    Let's not slide back into the days when Jim Crow 
meted out justice.
>Dear friend,
>I just learned about a case of segregation-era oppression happening
>today in Jena, Louisiana.  I signed onto ColorOfChange.org's campaign
>for justice in Jena, and wanted to invite you to do the same.
>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. It starts
>now. Please join me:
>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 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. 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.  But if we act now, we can
>make a difference.
>Join me in demanding 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.
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