Category: Uncategorized

Ambassadors for Common Peace

Here’s a great movement to bring the Hip Hop generation into the fight for civil rights.  Fathers for the Future is launching an initiative called “Ambassadors for Common Peace”, described at


A delegation from the Hip Hop activist community will serve as Ambassadors for Common Peace at the September 20th, 2007 protest rally of the Jena 6 trial in Jena, Louisiana. Mr. J. Michael Carr Jr. of the Fathers for the Future Foundation (FFF) and Troy Nkrumah of the National Hip Hop Political Convention (NHHPC) will lead a delegation of young people to Jena to monitor, mediate, and demonstrate for the justice of the six young youth who are on trial and unless justice is served could spend the decades in prison. This delegation will also include over 10 young lawyers from around the country who will work as legal observers to ensure that the constitutional rights of the demonstrators are not violated by law enforcement.


Invited by the “Friends of Justice”, the actual organization to first break the Jena 6 story to the Chicago Tribune and BBC in December 2006, the Ambassadors For Common Peace will work to promote civility and goodwill at the mobilization in Jena, LA. It is the belief of the Hip Hop community that this is one of the most salient racial trials since the Rodney King verdict in 1992 and has the potential to repeat the disastrous outcome if justice is not met for the defendants. This one trail has the potential to set back race relations and delegitimize the current strides made in the fight for racial justice, thus furthering the heightened racial tensions.  (more…)

Howard University students for the Jena 6

For the past several weeks Howard University students in Washington D.C. have been meeting to organize events in defense of the Jena 6. Students representing the range of Student Government organizations, and activist groups on campus such as Amnesty International, the NAACP, and the ANSWER Coalition, have begun making plans for activities beginning close to the start of the school year. On Sept. 5th, students will be holding a rally/forum, to raise awareness on campus about the Jena 6 case, this forum will also be preceded by intensive outreach activities, to maximize awareness on the case. Student activists plan to follow this rally with a series of events, as well as a fund raiser, T-shirts and other promotional material is being prepared, the message from the Howard University student body, to the rest of this country, will be Free the Jena 6!

Cambridge, MA passes resolution for Jena 6

Cambridge, MA just passed this resolution in support of the Jena 6:



July 30, 2007

WHEREAS: In September of 2006, in Jena, Louisiana, a group of African-American students sat under “the white tree” in the Jena High School yard and the following day three nooses were hung from the tree; and

WHEREAS: Throughout the fall, incidents occurred including an arson attack which damaged a school building and several assaults on African-American students in which the white offenders were not charged; and

WHEREAS: In December, white students taunted an African-American student who had been assaulted over the weekend and a fight broke out in the school during which one of the white students was assaulted and treated in the hospital but able to appear at a social function that night; and

WHEREAS: Six African-American students were immediately arrested, charged with attempted second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder, expelled from school with charges which could bring them 20-100 years in prison; and

WHEREAS: In June an all-white jury convicted the first defendant Mychal Bell of “lesser” charges of aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated battery in a trial where the prosecutor called only white witnesses, some of whom said they did not see anything and Bell’s public defender called no witnesses and offered no evidence; and

WHEREAS: This frightening example of racism calls to mind an earlier time in the United States in which segregation and the “lynching” of African-Americans was common practice; and

WHEREAS: Part of the reason these practices were brought to an end was the courage demonstrated by those who stood up in their own defense and the attention from others around the country; and

WHEREAS: The young men charged with these crimes and their families have been eloquent in their own defense and calling for justice; and

WHEREAS: Cambridge has a history of standing with communities around the globe and within the United States who are facing threats with the awareness that prejudice and oppression can happen anywhere there is not vigilance; now therefore be it

RESOLVED: That the Cambridge City Council expresses its dismay at the practices of the legal system in Jena if all-white juries and an unbalanced judicial process unfairly serve the African-American community and fail to hold accountable those in the white community who are responsible for behaviors of verbal intimidation and physical assaults; and be it further

That the Cambridge City Council goes on record in support of the young men and their families in Jena in their pursuit of justice; and be it further

That the City Clerk be and hereby is requested to forward a suitably engrossed copy of this resolution to the families of the “Jena Six” young men, J. Reed Walters, District Attorney of LaSalle Parish and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco on behalf of the entire City Council.

Action Update: Boston event at City Hall Plaza

Jena 6 City Hall Plaza MA
Supporters of the Jena 6 movement in MA will be at City Hall Plaza in Boston this Saturday, at the FREE concert handing out information and getting more awareness to what is happeneing in LA. We ask those in the MA area to come out and assist us for the event.

Please contact Shirley at for more info.  You can also pass along this Youtube clip:

Jena 6: Get Involved Page


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,

Lydia Bean

Jena 6

Free the Jena 6

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:

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:

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

Friends of Justice is moving!

Dear Friends:Friends of Justice (and Nancy and Alan Bean) are relocating to Arlington, TX this week to expand our work and our allies. We will be in transition for the next few days and will no longer have service at the email address: Please send your messages to the yahoo account: until we can get a new address.  Our new contact information is below.
Do Justice. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly.
Alan and Nancy Bean

Friends of Justice
3415 Ainsworth Court
Arlington, TX 76016
806-729-7889 or 817-457-0025


Update on Jena 6

Reading through the comments and questions on our site, I thought I should post a quick update. The usual suspects in the civil rights establishment have been contacted and there is considerable interest in this case. I am not at liberty to name names because the legal fight is complex and the central players prefer to remain anonymous for the time being. But please rest assured that some very influential and talented people are working on the legal strategy. All of the defendants now have qualified legal counsel and we are hoping to provide some top flight legal backup. Also, the national media (with CBS News taking the lead) has discovered the Jena story and you should see some major coverage by the end of July if not sooner. Media attention is crucial to the strategy Friends of Justice adopted in the wake of the infamous Tulia drug sting (see our homepage for more). The criminal justice system is thoroughly transformed when the world is paying attention. Finally, plans are in the works for a major event in support of the Jena 6. We will let you know more as the details solidify. Thank you all for your interest and support.

Alan Bean