Thursday, September 20
This is What Democracy Looks Like - Part 3: Jena 6
Background from Facing South
Reuters reports Tens of thousands of black Americans descended on a small town in central Louisiana on Thursday to protest what they say is injustice against six black teenagers charged over a high school fight.
Protesters arrived in buses and cars from cities as far away and apart as New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles and New Orleans for a rally in support of the "Jena 6."
The case has become a symbol for many African Americans of a wider struggle against racism and perceived discrimination against black males by the criminal justice system.
"I came because enough is enough. I am tired of the way the courts have been treating African Americans historically," said Doug Martin, a computer analyst from New Orleans.
Most shops were closed but organizers urged the protesters not to spend money in Jena so the town would not profit from what residents said was the biggest event in living memory.
Most of the demonstrators were dressed in black. Some held banners reading "Free the Jena 6" and chanted "no justice, no peace, no racist police," while others lounged in lawn chairs or took pictures of each other. More