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Archive for the 'Social Justice' Category
My Urban Report is on the road. I’m heading to Jena Louisiana to report for HDNews with video journalist Mario Page. I’ll also be posting updates right here, so stay tuned.
Markus Jones tells My Urban Report that his son Mychal Bell’s conviction on the aggravated battery charge has been overturned by appeal.
From the law office of Bell’s Attorney Lewis Scott:
“The writ was granted from the 3rd circuit to dismiss the adult charges on Mychal Bell.”
The DA has 13 days to appeal the decision to the Louisiana Supreme Court.
Reverand Raymond Brown president of Christians United of Louisiana says:
“Mychal Bell is still incarcerated, and by the time Monday comes around when all of the rejoicing is over, people will realize he’s still not a free man.
Damon Hewitt, Assisant Counsel with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund:
“It is not over and the case going away. The DA can still charge Bell as a juvenile on the attempted battery charge.” Hewitt says, “It makes it highly likely that none of the others will go to trial as an adult.”
It appears the march and rally on Sept. 20 is still planned. Stay tuned.
The Millions More Movement hosted an organizing conference call Thursday night.
The father of Mychal Bell, Markus Jones was on the line for the beginning of the call:
“I want to tell give everybody thanks for supporting my son,” he said.
Mr. Jones gave the latest info on the case. He said the DA dropped the conspiracy charge but has gone back and charged Mychal as a juvenile.
The hearing on the juvenile charge is set for early October (11?). They are waiting to hear if the courts will grant Mychal a new trial based on the appeal that’s already been filed, but they are still preparing for the sentencing next Thursday.
Question for Mr. Jones: How’s Mychal holding up?
“He’s real scared trying to keep his head up.”
Question for Mr. Jones: Is all the attention affecting the court?
He basically said, “No.”
The group offered words of encouragement to Mr. Jones and Mychal. Mr. Jones excused himself from the call.
Info for groups attending the rally:
The rally starts at nine. Cars must be parked by 7am. The program is a work in progress.
Those who plan to caravan should play educational and freedom inspired music and tell stories about the civil rights movement to make the ride spirited and educational.
“Take this stumbling block, and make it a stepping stone.”
All marchers are being asked bring signs and banners. Make sure it represents your organization and the city where you’re from.
“[City] supports the Jena Six.”
Visitors are being asked not spend money in Jena Louisiana.
“We do not want Jena to profit from our presence.”
The letter writing campaign was discussed. All universities, churches, schools, sororities, and fraternities are being asked to write Mychal Bell. The goal is to send him 500 letters a day.
The arrival process:
Busses will be stopped and directed by state police. There will be a dedicated parking lot for the Millions Moore Movement and Ministry of Justice. Authorities will direct visitors to appropriate parking lots.
Assignment #1: Everyone is being asked to organize conference calls in individual cities to help coordinate travel arrangements so everyone can ride together. Conference calls should start on Monday to maximize organizing efforts.
Everyone should be networking, and info will be discussed on Sunday’s conference call.
Assignment #2: Write Congress about the Jena Six case. Let each representative know how you feel about it and how it affects the district. Force a response whether favorable or not. The goal is to send a letter to every congressman/woman in Washington DC.
Quote of the call: “There are no geniuses in Jena.”
This story out of West Virginia is just another example of the savagery of man.
Megan Williams, 20, was recovering at Charleston Area Medical Center’s General Hospital after police said she was kidnapped, beaten, tortured and held against her will at a home in Logan County. Six people have been charged in connection with the incident.
Plenty of folks are talking about the black/white issue, but regardless of race this is simply a disgusting act. Lorraine Hayden writes a thought provoking commentary, published on AssociatedContent:
This week while our country mourns those lost during the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, a young woman lays in the hospital severely traumatized after being tortured and held captive for 6 days in a West Virginia home. This young woman went missing from her home for days, but there was no national coverage of her disappearance. Why it is some cases get more coverage than others?
So what’s worse Mike Vick fighting/killing dogs, or people torturing people? I’m not trying to justify any inhumane act… I’m just wondering why the feds arenâ€™t prosecuting the suspects in W. Virginia.
The Associated Press is reporting that charges for Robert Bailey have been reduced from attempted murder to aggravated battery. Bailey is one of five students originally charged as an adult with attempted murder in the racially charged controversy.
Charges have now been reduced for all of the students except one, Bryant Purvis. Only one of the Jena 6 is facing juvenile charges.
Here are some of the events planned in Jena, as the Sept. 20 sentencing date of Mychal Bell approaches.
REVERAND JESSE JACKSON will be in Jena, LA this weekend to support Mychal Bell and the Jena Six For a Town Hall Meeting & Peace Rally
Sunday September 9th
Good Pine Middle School
12642 Hwy 84 West
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 Courthouse
8:00am Rally & March for Peace and Justice
9:00am Sentencing for student Mychal Bell
Students and supporters from all over are planning to converge on Jena as well.
Americans for Justice Network will sponsor buses from Atlanta GA, Birmingham AL, Tuscaloosa AL, Chattanooga, TN, Nashville TN, Memphis TN and Detroit in support of the Jena 6 efforts.
We are looking for individuals who can not attend and businesses to sponsor the trip for college students. We currently have a bus full of Morehouse College students on board that will be making the trip with us. We are also working on signing up Spellman, Clark Atlanta and Tennessee State University.
We have partnered with Moorehouseâ€™s AUC Louisiana Club President, Jeremy Cormier to make this event possible for the Moorehouse students. Additionally, Jeremy has also volunteered to assist with getting Spellman, and Clark Atlanta on board. Therefore, any students from Morehouse, Spellman and Clark Atlanta that would like to attend the Jena 6 â€œGet On the Busâ€ rally will need to contact Jeremy Cormier. His contact information is listed below.
President, AUC Louisiana Club
I just found out I’ll be traveling to Jena Louisiana to cover the sentencing of Mychal Bell for HDNews. Bell is the first of six students to be convicted in the controversial case that has come to be known as Jena Six.
The following quote is from the NationalActionNetwork.
“Mychal Bell, a star athlete, was convicted on reduced charges by an all-white jury and faces up to 22 years in prison. Most of the accused are in jail, unable to post bail, and Bell awaits sentencing after being swiftly convicted.”
I’m reaching out to community members and leaders to set up interviews.
It appears that there will be tremendous community turnout. The Rev. Al Sharpton, Michael Baisden, Martin Luther King III, and other national leaders will be marching in Jena on Sept. 20, the day of the sentencing.
via AfroSpear message board
Word is getting out about the Jena Six through the media, activists, and AfroSpear/Sphere bloggers, and as the sentencing date for Mychal Bell approaches, it seems the nation will be paying close attention.
The 17 year-old was found guilty of second degree aggravated battery and faces up to 15 years in prison in the case surrounding the high school fight involving six black students. Sentencing is set for September 20.
“On that date, thousands of demonstrators from across the nation are planning to descend on the town of 3,000 to protest against the prosecution of Bell and five other black youths who have come to be called the ‘Jena 6.’”
This week, CNN reported on events in Jena, Louisiana. NPR is also covering the story, and of course AfroSpear/Sphere bloggers are keeping a close eye on the latest developments.