Thursday, September 20, 2007

Jena Six

Via Oliver Willis originally:
This could be the beginning of a 21st century’s civil rights movement to challenge disparities in the justice system, Sharpton said, adding that he planned a November march in Washington.

“What we need is federal intervention to protect people from Southern injustice,” Sharpton told the AP. “Our fathers in the 1960’s had to penetrate the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. We have to do the same thing.”

The six black teens were charged a few months after three white teens were accused of hanging nooses in a tree at their high school. The white teens were suspended from school but weren’t prosecuted. Five of the black teens were initially charged with attempted murder. That charge was reduced to battery for all but one, who has yet to be arraigned; the sixth was charged as a juvenile.

The beating victim, Justin Barker, was knocked unconscious, his face badly swollen and bloodied, though he was able to attend a school function later that night.

Thousands march through streets
Thursday morning, thousands of demonstrators clad in black converged on the local courthouse and a nearby park to protest the disparity in the charged teenagers’ treatment. Thousands more marched along city streets in what at times took on the atmosphere of a giant festival — with people setting up tables of food and some dancing to the beat of a drum.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke to one crowd. Dennis Courtland Hayes, interim president and CEO of the NAACP, was also there.

My stance on this: If you're stupid enough to hang racist nooses in the tree at school, you probably deserve to be knocked in the head a couple of times.

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