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Who are the Jena Six?

Who are the Jena Six?
The Jena Six are a group of black students who are being charged with attempted murder for beating up a white student who was taunting them with racial slurs, and continued to support other white students who hung three nooses from the high schools "white tree" which sits in the front yard.

The Michael Baisden Show: Live from Jena, LA September 20th The Baddest Man on radio is putting action behind his words. On September 20th Michael Baisden along with comedian George Wilborn, national celebrities, and thousands of loyal listeners will March on the Jena Courthouse to demand justice for Mychal Bell, one of the black teenagers awaiting sentencing in the Jena 6 Case. Mychal Bell could receive up to 22 years in prison for what amounted to nothing more then a fist fight between black and white high school students.Michael will need all the support he can get to show the prosecutors, the Judge, and the entire nation that we will not stand by while they steal the lives of our children. Time for talk is over, it's time to act.Details about Michael's visit to Jena on September 20, 2007:5:00am Buses meet in Alexandria, LA at Parish of Rapides Coliseum to caravan to Jena 7:30am Meet in Jena, LA at LaSalle Parish Courthouse8:00am Rally & March for Peace and Justice9:00am Sentencing for student Mychal Bell*Wear Black on Sept. 20th to signify unity against UN-EQUAL JUSTICE in America

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Free Jena Six

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Mos Def & Cornelius West on Bill Maher (Jena six)

Mos Def & Cornell West on Bill Maher (Jena Six part)

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Mychal Bell trial

Mychal Bell trial
On June 26, 2007, the first day of trial for defendant Mychal Bell, Walters agreed to reduce the charges for Bell to aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated second-degree battery.[15] A charge of aggravated battery requires the use of a "deadly weapon". Walters thus argued that the tennis shoes that Bell was wearing and used to kick Barker were deadly weapons, an argument with which the jury agreed. Despite conflicting witness accounts on whether he was involved in the attack,[16] Bell was found guilty and faced the possibility of up to 22 years in prison when he was to be sentenced on September 20, 2007.
The case sparked public outcry, as the court-appointed public defender, Blane Williams — an African-American — did not call a single witness in his attempt to defend Bell.[16] As well, one of the members of the all-white jury was a high school friend of Justin Barker’s father.[17] Bell's new defense attorneys, Louis Scott and Carol Powell-Lexing, requested that a new trial be held on the grounds that Bell should not have been tried as an adult and that the trial should have been held in another parish.[18]
A request to lower Mychal Bell's $90,000 bond was denied on August 24, 2007, due to his juvenile record, which showed that he had been previously convicted of four other violent crimes. Bell was put on probation for a battery that occurred December 25, 2005, and he was later convicted of yet another battery charge and two charges of criminal damage to property.[19]
On September 4, 2007, a judge dismissed the conspiracy charge but let the battery conviction stand, though he agreed that Bell should have been tried as a juvenile.[20] However, on September 14, 2007, Bell's battery conviction was also overturned, as Louisiana's Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Lake Charles ruled that he shouldn't have been tried as an adult. Louis Scott, Bell's attorney, has indicated that the charges are dropped for now, but also has noted that the situation may change depending on what path the prosecution takes.[21] The La Salle Parish district attorney, Reed Walters, has said that he will appeal to the Louisiana Supreme Court.[22]
A new bail hearing for Bell was scheduled for September 17.[22]

The other five
On September 4, 2007, charges against Carwin Jones and Theo Shaw were reduced to aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy,[23] as did Robert Bailey, Jr., on September 10.[24]
Despite the overturning of Mychal Bell's conviction, the charges against the other four teenagers won't be altered because they were over seventeen at the time of the incident, making them adults under Louisiana law.[21]

FBI investigates supremacist anti-'Jena 6' Web site

Mychal Bell of the Jena 6 speaks to Democracy Now

Part 1

Part 2

collateralnews: The Jena Six


Saturday, October 6, 2007

Rappers Mos Def, Common, More Urge Walk Out In Protest Of Jena 6

By Nolan Strong

A number of rappers and activists will support Mos Def's call for a National Student Walk-Out tomorrow (Oct 1) in support of the Jena 6.

In addition to Mos Def, rappers Common, Talib Kweli, Immortal Technique, M1, Rep. Cynthia McKinney, Idris Elba, Pharoahe Monch, the Malcolm X Grassroots, the National Hip Hop Political Convention, The Hip Hop Association and student leaders from over 100 campuses will support the Jena 6 by walking out of class at 12:00 noon (Central time).

The rappers and activists are asking students to peacefully walk out of class and rally either on campus or at other designated areas, in protest of the case.

"This is the time for Black people to support the Jena 6, and call attention to the unequal treatment the criminal Justice system is dishing out not only in Jena Louisiana but across this nation," Mos Def said. "We all live in Jena. "

A list of demands created by the organizations will be read at each of the organized rallies around the country.

The group is calling for all charges against the Jena 6 to be dropped, to prevent Judge Mauffray from presiding over Bell's juvenile court hearings, that the Jena School District superintendent be removed from office and more.

The "Jena 6" are six black students who were charged with assaulting a white teenager at Jena High School in Jena, Louisiana after a series of racially motivated incidents.

The students were initially charged with attempted murder and conspiracy to commit attempted murder in connection with the December 4 beating of a white student.

The incident was the culmination of months of racial tension following a black Jena High School student’s request to the principal sit under an oak tree that was a frequent hang out for white students.

A day after the request, sat under the tree, three nooses were found hanging from the branches. Although the school’s principal recommended that those responsible for the nooses be expelled, the three white students were suspended for three days for the action, which was labeled as a "prank."

Soon after, Justin Barker, a white student, was jumped by a group of students who knocked him unconscious while stomping and kicking him.

Criminal charges were later directed towards the Jena 6, although the parents of the Jena 6 said they heard Barker was hurling racial epithets earlier.

On Thursday (September 27), Mychal Bell, the last of the "Jena 6" behind bars, was released from custody after a juvenile his bail was reduced to $45,000.

Over 15,000 demonstrators protested how the case was handled, claiming the black teens were being treated more harshly than the three white students who hung the nooses.

National Walk Outs: Mos Def

Jena mayor calls song inflammatory

Jena mayor calls song inflammatory 10/06/2007 6:19 AM, APA video in which rapper-actor Mos Def asked students around the country to walk out Oct. 1 to support the "Jena Six" escaped comment by this town's mayor. But when John Mellencamp sang, "Jena, take your nooses down," he took issue.
"The town of Jena has for months been mischaracterized in the media and portrayed as the epicenter of hatred, racism and a place where justice is denied," Jena Mayor Murphy R. McMillin wrote in a statement on town letterhead faxed on Friday to The Associated Press.
He said he had previously stayed quiet, hoping that the town's courtesy to people who have visited over the past year would speak for itself. "However, the Mellencamp video is so inflammatory, so defamatory, that a line has been crossed and enough is enough."
Mellencamp could not comment immediately because he was on a plane from California to Indiana and had not heard about McMillin's comments, publicist Bob Merlis said late Friday.
A brief note from Mellencamp posted Thursday on his Web site says he is telling a story, not reporting. "The song is not written as an indictment of the people of Jena but, rather, as a condemnation of racism," it says.
Nooses hung briefly from a big oak tree outside Jena High School a year ago, after a black freshman asked whether black students could sit under it. A white student was beaten unconscious three months later, in December.
Six black students, four of them 17 years old and legally adults, were arrested. Five were initially charged with attempted murder, although that charge has been reduced to aggravated second-degree battery as four of the older youths have been arraigned. The only youth tried so far was convicted, but that conviction was overturned on appeal and the case was sent to juvenile court.
Mellencamp's song opens, "An all-white jury hides the executioner's face; See how we are, me and you?" As he sings, images of Jena, the high school and the tree are followed by video from the 1960s, including civil rights marchers, police beatings, and President John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King speaking. Still images include one of a protest sign reading, "God demands segregation," a stylized drawing of people in Ku Klux Klan robes and an older image of a black man in shackles, begging.
"I do not want to diminish the impression that the hanging of the nooses has had on good people," McMillin wrote. "I do recognized that what happened is insulting and hurtful."
But, he said, "To put the incident in Jena in the same league as those who were murdered in the 1960s cheapens their sacrifice and insults their memory."
At McMillin's request, the Jena Town Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to create an interracial committee to study racial relations and suggest solutions to any problems.

John Mellencamp "Jena (take your nooses down)"