Monday, October 1st, 2007 at Noon, Central Time.
Artist/ Activist Mos Def along with M1, Talib Kweli, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Sankofa Community Empowerment, Change the Game, National Hip Hop Political Convention, Hip Hop Association, and student leaders from 50 campuses call for a National Student Walk-Out to rally and show support for the Jena 6, who are being denied their human rights by the Louisiana criminal justice system.
The Case of the Jena 6
Last fall, when two Black high school students sat under the "white" tree on their campus, white students responded by hanging nooses from the tree. When Black students protested the light punishment for the students who hung the nooses, District Attorney Reed Walters came to the school and told the students he could "take [their] lives away with a stroke of [his] pen." Racial tension continued to mount in Jena , and the District Attorney did nothing in response to several egregious cases of violence and threats against black students. But when a white student--who had been a vocal supporter of the student's who hung the nooses, taunted a black student, called several black students "nigger"--sustained minor injuries from a school fight, six black students were charged with second-degree attempted murder. Last month, the first young man to be tried, Mychal Bell, was convicted. He faced up to 22 years in prison for a school fight until the Black people began to organize and his conviction was thrown out because he was tried as an adult. However the DA and the Judge still refuse to set a reasonable bail or to drop the charges in this case and Mychal is still in jail!!
Mos Def is asking students worldwide to assist in the fight against racial injustice and show solidarity for these young people, who have been treated unequally by the law. The prosecution of these young men symbolizes a terrible miscarriage of justice, by punishing students who opposed segregation in their schools and disregarding the threatening acts of others who advocate it.
As students and activists we say enough is enough! What is happening in Jena is happening all over this country. From Sean Bell to Mychal Bell, the criminal justice system is killing and incarcerating us. We will not be silent!
Judge J.P. Mauffray and District Attorney Reed Walters have engaged in a string of egregious actions, the most recent of which was the denial of bail for Bell on Friday. We call for:
1. All charges against the Jena 6 be dropped
2. The immediate release of Mychal Bell
3. The United States Department of Justice to convene an immediate inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the arrests and prosecutions of the Jena 6;
4. Judge Mauffray to be recused from presiding over Bell 's juvenile court hearings or other proceedings;
5. The Louisiana Office of Disciplinary Counsel to investigate Reed Walters for unethical and possibly illegal conduct;
6. The Louisiana Judiciary Commission investigate Judge Mauffray for unethical conduct; and
7. The Jena School District superintendent to be removed from office.
Other endorsers include: Common, Immortal Technique, NyOil, Cynthia McKinney
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