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jena: march for justice


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Jena, La. – August 2006:
The morning after a group of black students sat under a tree
unofficially labeled “the white tree” because white students usually
sat under it, three nooses were hung from it. Although expulsion was
recommended, the three white students responsible received a three-day,
in-school suspension.

Sept. 5, 2006: Black students protested the perpetrators perceived light sentence by sitting under the tree.

Nov. 30, 2006: Jena High School was set on fire. The arsonists were never apprehended.

Dec. 1, 2006:
Two groups clashed at a convenience store. Allegedly, one of the white
students drew a loaded firearm and the black students wrested the gun
from him and left the scene. The black student who took the gun was
later charged with theft of a firearm. The white student who brandished
the loaded firearm was never charged.

Dec. 4, 2006:
The group that would later be called the “Jena Six” beat a white
student unconscious. The student was treated at a hospital and attended
a party the same night. Six black students were later arrested.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeal reduced the students’ charges to
aggravated second-degree battery from second-degree murder. One of the
juveniles, Mychal Bell, was charged as an adult and convicted of
aggravated battery and conspiracy, but his conviction has been vacated.
Bell is still jailed.

Sept. 20, 2007:
Thousands of outraged citizens descended upon the rural town of Jena,
La., to peacefully protest the inequitable treatment of the Jena Six. –
adam jones