Jena Six

Jena7-10

"Modern Day Lynching" in Jena, Louisiana

Six black students at Jena High School in Central Louisiana were arrested last December after a school fight in which a white student was beaten and suffered a concussion and multiple bruises. The six black students were charged with attempted murder and conspiracy. Initially, they each faced up to 100 years in prison without parole. The fight took place amid mounting racial tension after a black student sat under a tree in the schoolyard where only white students sat. The next day three nooses were hanging from the tree. See DN!’s coverage of the story and check back for updates.

October 24, 2007: Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler on Maher Arar, Rendition, Voting Rights Chair John Tanner, and Seeking Justice for the Jena 6
Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York joins us from Capitol Hill to talk about why he thinks the Bush administration should compensate and apologize to Maher Arar. Rep. Nadler also addresses recent controversies around John Tanner of the Voting Rights section and birth control foe Susan Orr, the newly appointed Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs. And Nadler talks about congressional efforts to intervene in the case of the Jena 6.

October 22, 2007:'Jena Is All Over This Country': Rev. Al Sharpton, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and Rep. Keith Ellison Question Federal Response to the Jailing of the Jena Six
The House Judiciary Committee held a heated hearing Tuesday on the case of the Jena Six. Democratic lawmakers and community activists lambasted federal officials for not intervening despite the hanging of nooses on the schoolyard tree and District Attorney Reed Walters’s initial charges of second-degree attempted murder against the six African American teenagers.

September 27, 2007:Lawmakers, Students Take Up Justice Struggle for the Jena Six
One week after tens of thousands of protesters gathered in Jena, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are taking up the case of the Jena Six. Students are getting involved too—a coalition of hip-hop artists and grassroots organizations are calling for a National Student Walk-Out on October 1st. We speak with Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee and student organizer DeShaun Davis.

September 21, 2007: The Jena Six Story: A Look at the Origins of the Case
One day after the historic march, we re-air our July 10th report that helped bring the case of the Jena Six to national attention. Jacquie Soohen of Big Noise Films interviewed Jena Six members and their families.

September 21, 2007: Rev. Al Sharpton: Jena Rally Marks 'Beginning of a 21st Century Rights Movement'
Civil rights leaders from across the country, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Rev. Al Sharpton and Congresswoman Maxine Waters, traveled to Jena to take part in Thursday’s march. Rev. Sharpton joins us on the phone from Baton Rouge.

September 21, 2007: In Historic March, Tens of Thousands Gather from Across Nation to Demand Justice for Jena Six
Tens of thousands of protesters gathered Thursday in the town of Jena, Louisiana to demand justice for the Jena Six—the six African American teenagers facing a total of over 100 years in prison for allegedly beating a white student in a schoolyard fight. The fight occurred after white students hung nooses from a tree at the school. Thursday’s protest was one of the largest civil rights rallies in the South since the 1960s.

September 21, 2007: Live from Jena: Two Mothers of the Jena Six React to Outpour of Support for their Sons
We go to Jena, Louisiana to speak to two mothers of the Jena Six: Caseptla Bailey, mother of Robert Bailey; and Tina Jones, mother of Bryant Purvis.

September 20, 2007:Blog Post: 'Tipping the Scales of Justice in Jena'
Amy Goodman’s Weekly Column.

September 19, 2007: Harlem Residents Head to Jena Louisiana for Rally To Free the Jena Six
Activists from across the country are heading to Jena, Louisiana for a major demonstration on Thursday to protest the treatment of six African American high school students who were jailed and faced attempted murder charges for taking part in a fight after nooses were hung from a tree in the schoolyard. Last night we interviewed activists in Harlem as they boarded buses bound for Jena.

September 19, 2007: Voices from Jena: White School Board Member Accuses Jena Six Of Committing A Hate Crime; Says Nooses Were Hung From A Schoolyard Tree 'In A Joking Manner'
During a recent trip to Jena, Democracy Now! interviewed Billy “Bulldog” Fowler, a member of the La Salle Parish School Board. Fowler, 68, moved to Jena in 1940. He says Jena is being unfairly painted as racist. He feels the hanging nooses were blown out of proportion, that in the high school setting it was more of a prank: “This is the Deep South, and [older] black people know the meaning of a noose. Let me tell you something—young people don’t.”

September 19, 2007: Voices from Jena: African-American Educator from Jena Accuses DA of Conflict of Interest in Handling of Jena Six Case
Former Assistant School Superintendent Cleveland Riser says local district attorney Reed Walters should have recused himself from the Jena Six case because he also serves as the attorney for the local school board. When the school board was asked to review the expulsion of the six students, Walters prevented them from reviewing an internal school district investigation.

September 18, 2007: Thousands Expected to March in Jena to Protest Pending Charges Against High School Students
Thousands of people are expected to gather in Jena, Louisiana on Thursday to protest the pending charges against six African American high school students. Last week, a Louisiana appeals court threw out the conviction of 17-year-old Mychal Bell. Bell was supposed to have been sentenced for attempted second-degree battery this Thursday. He has been jailed since January, unable to meet his $90,000 bond.

September 05, 2007: Judge Reduces Charges in Jena 6 Case But Refuses to Overturn Mychal Bell Conviction
A Louisiana judge has refused to overturn the conviction of Mychal Bell. He and five other African American teens were arrested and charged with attempted murder after a schoolyard fight in which a white student was beaten and suffered a concussion. An all-white jury found Bell guilty of second-degree battery and conspiracy in June. On Tuesday, a judge dismissed Bell’s conspiracy charge and prosecutors announced they’ve reduced the attempted murder charges against two others among the Jena Six.

August 01, 2007: Hundreds March in Jena, Louisiana in Support of the Jena Six
A movement is growing in support of the Jena Six—the black Louisana high school students charged with attempted murder for a school fight in which a white student was beaten up. The fight broke out after white students hung three nooses from a tree where the black students had sat. School board officials cut down the tree last week. Hundreds of people from all over the country gathered Tuesday for a march through Jena’s streets. Independent reporter Jordan Flaherty reports.

July 18, 2007: It’s still about race in Jena, La.
Amy Goodman’s Weekly Column.

July 10, 2007:The Case of the Jena Six: Racism Alleged as Black Students Jailed, Charged With Attempted Murder for Schoolyard Fight With White Classmate
Six black students at Jena High School in Central Louisiana were arrested last December after a school fight in which a white student was beaten and suffered a concussion and multiple bruises. The six black students were charged with attempted murder and conspiracy. They face up to 100 years in prison without parole. The fight took place amid mounting racial tension after a black student sat under a tree in the schoolyard where only white students sat. The next day three nooses were hanging from the tree.

July 10, 2007:'A Modern-Day Lynching'–Parents of Jena Six Speak of Injustice, Racism in Sons’ Prosecution
We speak with the parents of three of the ‘Jena Six’–the black high school students charged with attempted murder for a school fight in which a white student was beaten up. We are joined by Caseptla Bailey, the mother of Robert Bailey and Tina Jones, the mother of Bryant Purvis–both of their sons are awaiting trial on charges of attempted second degree murder and conspiracy. We also speak with Marcus Jones, his son, Mychal Bell, was the first of the Jena Six to go on trial. He was convicted just over a week ago of aggravated battery and conspiracy. He faces up to 22 years in prison when he is sentenced on July 31st.