I’ve created a new page just about the Jena 6 on our webpage, with ideas to take action. I invite you to forward this page to friends who don’t yet know about the Jena case or want to get involved. If you want to brainstorm with other activists about organizing local protests in your city in support of the Jena 6, the comment section on this page might be a good place to put out your ideas for events and locate other activists.
grace and peace,
Have you heard about the Jena 6 and looking to take action? Here’s a quick overview on how to get involved with the Jena 6 cause, and with Friends of Justice, the grassroots organization that brought this case into the international spotlight.
Friends of Justice organizes in poor communities across Texas and Louisiana to hold our criminal justice system accountable to our nation’s highest values. This month, we brought international media attention to a dramatic trial in Jena, Louisiana, where a young black teenager was convicted of aggravated assault for a schoolyard fight. The fight was initiated by white students, who hung three nooses in a tree at the high school courtyard, to warn black students not to sit there. After this hate crime was dismissed as a harmless prank by the school administration, black students protested under the tree. The local District Attorney was called in to warn the black students that he could take their life away with the stroke of a pen. After authority figures refused to take a stand against racism, the noose incident led to a series of fights between white and black students. After these fights, only the black students were charged–with attempted murder. The prosecutor and the town have refused to back down in prosecuting these young men, or to admit that hanging nooses is a hate crime. You can read the full report of Friends of Justice here: Jena 6 summary
Are you scandalized that such a thing can happen in this day and age? Here are three ways to show your support for the Jena 6, the young men who sat under that “white only” shade tree, protested the nooses, and are now facing over twenty years in prison.
1. Support Friends of Justice as we continue our organizing for the Jena 6!
Friends of Justice organizes across Texas and Louisiana to generate media scandals around cases of abusive prosecution and civil rights violations in the criminal justice system. We were called by the families of the Jena 6 because we have a reputation for getting justice for cases like theirs.
You can designate your donation for the “Jena 6 Initiative”. Your money will go to our organizing in Jena, where our two big tasks right now are: 1. recruiting pro bono legal assistance, and 2. working nonstop with reporters and editors to get more news outlets to cover the Jena story.
You can donate securely on Paypal by following this link. Alternately, you can send a check to the following address:
Friends of Justice
3415 Ainsworth Court
Arlington, TX 76016
806-729-7889 or 817-457-0025
2. Sign up for Action Updates on the Friends of Justice blog
We post regular updates on Jena on our blog: https://friendsofjustice.wordpress.com/blog/
To sign up for Action Updates, click the link on the right margin of our website, and entering your email. You’ll get an email when we post to the blog and when we have opportunities to take action.
3. Organize a Protest in your City, and invite the media!
If you’re planning a Jena 6 protest in your city, post a comment on our website and we’ll publicize it on the blog. We recommend collaborating with an organization that can send a press release to your regional media outlets and contact reporters–this way, your protest will stoke them to cover the Jena 6 story if they haven’t already.
If you’d like to get diverse faith communities involved in the protest, you might try consulting various online directories and meetup sites for social justice religious groups. We recommend the Sojourners Faith & Justice directory, which gives contact information for congregations and individuals who care about justice: http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=get_connected.directory
4. Write a Letter to the Editor of your local paper
Editors really sit up and take notice when people write in about a particular event! Writing a Letter to the Editor gets more people to read about the Jena 6, and it also lets the media know that this is something their readers really care about!
Thanks to everyone who has already taken action for the Jena 6 and donated to the work of Friends of Justice in Jena! And if you want to publicize an upcoming action on the behalf of the Jena 6, please post a comment to our blog and we’ll publicize it.
Do justice, walk humbly, love mercy.
Friends of Justice