Saturday, September 22, 2007
From NYTimes.com: In a slow-moving march that filled streets, spilled onto sidewalks and stretched for miles, more than 10,000 demonstrators rallied Thursday in this small town to protest the treatment of six black teenagers arrested in the beating of a white schoolmate last year.
Chanting slogans from the civil rights era and waving signs, protesters from around the nation converged in central Louisiana where the charges have made this otherwise anonymous town of 3,000 people a high-profile arena in the debate on racial bias in the judicial system.
“That’s not prosecution, that’s persecution,” the Rev. Jesse Jackson the founder of the RainbowPUSH Coalition and an organizer of the demonstration, told a crowd in front of the LaSalle Parish Courthouse. “We will not stop marching until justice runs down like waters.”
The Jena High School students, known as the Jena Six, are part of a court case that began in December, when they were accused of beating a white classmate unconscious and kicking him and a prosecutor charged them with attempted murder.
The beating was preceded by racially charged incidents at the high school, including nooses hanging from an oak tree that some students felt was just for white students. The tree has been cut down.
Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]