Sunday, July 01, 2007

Jena Six Petition

Tom has worked alongside others on the Jenna Six petition. This is a horrific case being argued before an "all-white" jury. Already one of the the six, Mychal Bell, has been convicted "of aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy to commit the same."

Bell is only 17 and faces a sentence of up to 30 years in prison. This is modern day lynching at work here.

Please add your voice. I am taking the liberty to copy and paste the petition statement below. The image here came to life on this excellent blog: The Anti-Essentialist Conundrum. You can also read updates on the case there.

Please read and then sign the petition. Also circulate for more signatures.


To: Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice

We respectfully request that the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice review events surrounding the prosecution of six Black students in Jena, Louisiana, to determine whether the civil rights of Jena residents have been violated.

In a May 20, 2007 Chicago Tribune article titled "Racial Demons Rear Heads," Howard Witt reported that the six students faced prosecution for charges including second degree attempted murder -- and possible prison sentences of up to 100 years -- for allegedly participating in an unarmed school brawl that resulted in no serious injuries. The alleged brawl followed months of racial tension after hangman's nooses were hung from a tree at the students' school.

From the same Chicago Tribune article:

“There’s been obvious racial discrimination in this case,” said Joe Cook, executive director of the Louisiana chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, who described Jena as a “racial powder keg” primed to ignite. “It appears the black students were singled out and targeted in this case for some unusually harsh treatment.”

The prosecution of these young men represents a gross miscarriage of justice, punishing Black students for opposing segregation of their schools while ignoring the threatening and provocative acts of those engaging in segregation.

We respectfully request that the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice launch a full investigation into events in Jena, Louisiana, beginning with the noose incident of August 31, 2006, and culminating in the alleged fight of December 4, 2006 to determine whether the civil rights of Jena residents have been violated.

Access the petition HERE.

For more information on the Jenna Six see this photoblog While Seated.


UPDATE: Howard's Land Grab

See Vox Ex Machina for relevant links to addresses that pertain to Howard's racist land grab.

Thanks again Tom for pressing on.

Peace and struggle,


The Thinking Black Man said...

Hey Brother!

This situation has oddly missed the Washington DC local news outlets. There is no justifiable reason for that!

This is a complete shame! I will sign that petition! And, I will spread the word as well.

You have an amazing blog here! My eyes and mind are always opened wide when I visit.

Peace, Brother!

Ridwan said...

TBM it is always a pleasure to read your stuff and 'hear' you here in my little corner.

Thank you for taking a stand brother ... and thank you for circulating the petition.

I know Tom who worked hard on this petition will be appreciative ...

And brother I have not even mentioned the 6 brothers who need to stand up for them.

Be well and keep posting those thought provoking pieces.

Peace and struggle,

Tom Autopref said...

Ridwan thank you for helping get the word out.

I am still trying to get my reading done on the Australian thing. (Time has been a little tight here this week.) Should I put a sample letter in the comments here when I have one? Or what do you want to do?

Ridwan said...

Hey Tom:

Thanks for looking in. I have been watching the numbers increase on the petition.

Great job no doubt.

OK, so please put what you have here and we can go from there.

I hear you on being swamped.