the first high school student to be found guilty in the Jena 6 trial had his conviction vacated over the weekend by the louisiana 3rd circuit court of appeal; they ruled mychal bell never should have been tried as an adult and the charges of second-degree battery were inappropriate.
this is more than excellent news. it's news that says that advocacy works. grassroots organizing works. public attention on injustice can bring change.
i feel that if those few overseas papers and then the massive email campaign launched by the folks at DemocracyNow and Color of Change hadn't mobilized such grassroots, public outrage, these young boys would have been sent quietly to prison.
but there are 5 other boys waiting trial and their ordeal is by no means over.
if people concerned with racial justice, and equal application of the law, keep up the pressure perhaps these boys can be freed.
what can you do about Jena 6?
1. spread the word. the more attention this case gets, the better
these boys chances have for getting their lives back. go here to read about one of
the online campaigns, send a letter to the district attorney and the governor
and find out about further actions.
2. if you have the time and inclination, join the rallies on sept
20. (or, better yet, if you have a blog write about the Jena 6 on Sept 20
as a way of participating in the action.)
several midwest ywcas are organizing buses down to louisiana.
information is here:
In the Midwest region, both Toledo, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan have busses
going down. Toledo is being hosted by a group of concerned citizens and
Detroit is going through the NAACP. For more details regarding either,
please feel free to call Delma Jackson @ 419. 508. 8968.
the naacp has information about their coordinating efforts here.
3. be aware of the increasing criminalization of minority youth in
this country. some research can be found here.