Free the Jena 6!

Students rally at a demonstration called by the Black Student Movement at UNC-Chapel Hill

We, the members of the UNC Chapel Hill Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) stand in solidarity with the Jena 6, the group of six Black students unfairly charged with the attempted murder of a white classmate in Jena, Louisiana a town of 3,000 white and 350 Black residents. The school yard scuffle which ended in the six’s arrests was preempted by racist and criminal provocation after provocation by white students. It all began when a Black student sat under a “white” tree at Jena high school. The next day, nooses were hung in the tree to show that that racist history of the South will be kept alive through tradition and the use of force. Robert Bailey, one of the Black youth that was arrested was invited to an all-white party, beaten and “sent back to his side of town” by the police. Matt Windham, one of white males who attacked Robert Bailey threatened Bailey with a sawed-off shot gun and was never arrested. With every escalation in violence the school superintendent, police, D.A., and the all-white jury that convicted Mychal Bell of attempted murder sent Jena and the rest of the U.S. the same clear message: white youth are above the law and Black youth will be locked up and thrown away. The Jena 6 case has become a worldwide symbol for the continuing fight against the racist U.S. criminal injustice system. The pressure is mounting. Last week, the judge threw out Bell’s conviction because he was erroneously tried as an adult but there are 5 more youth awaiting trial. We demand that all charges be dropped against the Jena Six and we continue to stand in solidarity with their struggle.

Strength through Solidarity,

UNC Chapel Hill SDS

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