Local protesters head to Jena, Louisiana

By: Lynnsey Gardner Email
By: Lynnsey Gardner Email

News 12 at 11, September 19, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---Six high school students are at the center of a national civil rights protest. Tonight, tens of thousands of people are descending on a small town in Louisiana to rally support for the Jena 6.

Hundreds of protesters on their way from all across the CSRA. Some are college students, others, 72 year old grandparents; but they all are going with the same goal: to make a difference.

50 people from the care group House of Plenty are the latest caravan of protesters from Augusta heading west to Jena, Louisiana.

"It's not a white or black thing, it's a wrong or right thing," says protester Willie Myrick.

"We're going to make it count," adds Lawrence Freeman.

50 thousand civil rights protesters, including Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are expected to descend on the small town with a population of three thousand. They're protesting what they say is injustice against the now infamous Jena 6.

"Don't act like we coming to start trouble. We're coming to stop trouble," says civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton.

Trouble that started under an oak tree usually reserved for white students. Last September, some black students had lunch underneath it and nooses were hung the next day, but the white students involved only got in school suspension. The school superintendent calling it a prank.

A few months later, six black students were arrested after a school fight that injured white student Justin Barker. Their charge? Attempted murder. The lethal weapon? Tennis shoes.

"It's racist because the penalty simply does not fit the crime." says Paine College campus adviser Gloria Williams Way.

That's why 50 Paine College students and faculty also decided to make the trip to Jena.

"It's time for all of us to change the world and it's time for all of us to wake up as well," says senior Keeshundra Jett.

"I never experienced something like this in life and it could be life changing for me and for the world," adds 18-year-old student Marquis Porterfield.

Grandparent Margaret Armstrong is also making the trip. "We've been marching since i was 19 and I'm 72 now and the need is still there."

After joining hands in prayer they set off, joining others, to have their voices heard. "We are out here and we're concerned about what's going on as far as equality for all and it's very important for us to be a part of history in the making," adds student Tiffany Brooks.

Last week, the appellate court threw out Mychal Bell's conviction because he was 16 at the time of the crime, but tried as an adult. He was supposed to be sentenced tomorrow (September 20), but his case will now be turned over to the juvenile court. According to local newspaper reports, Bell is still in jail.

The other fuve students involved are still facing serious charges, but all of those five have posted bail and are now out of jail awaiting trial.


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  • by kj Location: N. Augusta SC on Oct 26, 2007 at 06:58 AM
    Unfortunately, this story does not start at the hanging of the nooses. It started with the mindset that Blacks and Whites needed to be separated from each other on a high school campus. These campuses are where our children need to be integrating their minds and bodies so that our future as a race of human beings can be solidified. We teach them division and we will have division in the future. We teach them tolerance, understanding and respect then thats what we get. If we teach them to mistrust and judge then we get Jena 6 and the surrounding problems that come with this situation and frame of mind. We need to understand that this is an emotional happening, but I was always told that the first rule is a crisis situation is to remail CALM. If we remain calm we can think about what can be done to fix this problem, no matter how difficult the task seems now. I think that we as a people should pull our heads out of the turtle shells. We are in big BIG trouble if this is all thats left.
  • by m&m Location: augusta on Sep 21, 2007 at 08:22 AM
    Everone needs to see that the first crime that was committed was when the nooses where hung in the tree. If theses kids had been charged with civil rights violations all of these protest would not have happened there would be no Jena six. The DA and the school board of the school in Jena both should be found negligent for not prosicutint the boys for hanging the nooses.
  • by nikki Location: wrens on Sep 21, 2007 at 08:14 AM
    To Dan u a stupid ******* that don't no nothing because if you did dummy everybody that works pay taxes and you ain't the only one.You don't work for us and never have stupid we work to make a living and like I said everybody that works pay taxes dummy. We tired of yall ******** acting stupid
  • by Anonymous on Sep 21, 2007 at 04:51 AM
    To Ann Carter you need to hush because yall ******* act like they murdered the white boy they just beat the mess out of him which he probably deserved. As for you saying us getting our way and what if it was some white boys well a white boy did jump on a black boy and beat him but you don't see his parents complaining. You stupid ******** think that yall should get your way it doesn't work like that anymore. We have a chance know to defend ourselves and not take anything off of you. At one time the crackers had control but know you have nothing but mouth and can't do nothing. People like you love to see our black people get in trouble but want us to glory in the crackers when they do something good. We are not stupid and we have alot of black men and women that are doing just as good as the whites but you do is try to take that away from us because you can't stand to see a ***** get ahead of you.
  • by b on Sep 21, 2007 at 04:39 AM
    As for the person talking about the colors what are u a white *******. You and no one else don't owe us nothing. We have strived to make it and we will continue to make it without you. You must be racist yourself for you to write in talking about yall colors that's something they used back in the slavery days you and the rest of the ones that wrote in are sick white racist trash that don't no any better.
  • by t Location: wrens on Sep 21, 2007 at 03:46 AM
    To Ron your dumb this is what the news station is for to report news no matter what it is. Obviously your racial to write in with someting like this. If the people from Paine College wants to go let them go they have the freedom to do what they want. First of all dummy a white boy did jump on a black boy and beat him but his parents didn't take it to the extreme but time the white ******* get his butt beat yall act a fool. The black boy got beat up then a white boy got beat up so. What it is by the town is so racist it like to have killed yall when people found out some black boys beat the break shoes off that *******. Get over it the ******* got beat that's all it is to it. Because i would have did the same. Then your talking about let the people in the town settled the only reason why you say that cause you know if they settle it the boys have no chance at all. By everyone joining in and protesting yall don't like that because it will be a chance the boys might get off.
  • by nikki Location: wrens on Sep 21, 2007 at 03:24 AM
    To Michael first of all the white kids has no reason even planning to do such a thing obviously the parents have been teaching them be racial. If you go to work and in your area someone put the you are white trash, a racist ******* then you would be ready to retaliate to. So don't come here talking about Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson want air time because that's not even the case. I'm tired of people walking around still thinking its slavery time. Know people don't care and they will kill you for junk like this. Slavery is over and if Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson want to stand up for our people then I'm with him. Some of yall ******** walk around like yall on the world well you don't. We were put here a mixture black, white, hispanic etc. So if you don't want to be around blacks go to your fantasy world because that's what you live in.When judgement day come were all going to serve the same GOD. This is what people need to realize there is one GOD not one for each color just one.
  • by Dan Location: Georgia on Sep 20, 2007 at 07:23 PM
    If you listento the news,90% of all the crimes committed in my area are by blacks and I guess we white people make them do that??????I get so sick and tierd of hearing what we owe you people,you guys worked for us and we have been working for you for years paying taxes for stamps,checks,and medicaid.SO GET OVER IT!!!!!
  • by Connie Location: Georgia on Sep 20, 2007 at 07:11 PM
    Whsat if it had been 6 white boys that had jumped on a black boy?AlSharpton with his racist attitude would be right on that too blaming the white people for being brutaland demanding those boy be prosecuted.Every time some little something happens to a black person they have a protest with the NAACP.I think those boys need punishing for beating that boy.Hanging rope on a tree is nothing compared to someone getting beat almost to death.
  • by Black Location: wadley on Sep 20, 2007 at 04:30 PM
    listen this is plain and simple about race you can read some of your comments and tell who wrong what. And no sir this noose thing was not a prank and everybody who has put it off as nothing knows that. A school fight come on people he got only what he had given.People fight all the time and get broke arms,fingers and noses and none of does people are going to jail for 16 YEARS. How many times does this stuff have to keep happening. you guys keep saying what if the shoe were on the other foot,it was and nothing was done. Let's all get the facts of this case, not just hear what makes use feel good
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