Students Rally At ECU For Jena 6

The streets of a small Louisiana town are filled with demonstrators, chanting in support of six black teens charged with beating a white classmate.

The son of the late Martin Luther King says the scene in Jena is reminiscent of earlier civil rights struggles.

Martin Luther King III says while punishment of some sort may be in order for the six defendants, "the justice system isn't applied the same to all crimes and all people."

Today, some East Carolina University students joined the demonstration in spirit. They staged their own rally in Greenville to protest what they claim are excessive charges and bond amounts for the teens.

Many of the ECU students hope their voices will stretch past Eastern Carolina and reach Louisiana. They want today's rally to help spread awareness about the Jena 6 controversy.

The Jena 6 Background
Controversy erupted after prosecutors charged five black teens with attempted murder in the beating of a white classmate. The charges were later reduced.

Racial tensions had been high in the town because three nooses
were found in a tree on Jena's high school campus months before the
school fight. Three white students were briefly suspended over the
incident but no charges were filed.

Civil rights activists accused the local prosecutors of being disproportionately harsh on black youths in Jena.

One teen, Mychal Bell, was convicted of aggravated second-degree
battery. A state appeals court threw out his conviction. Bell, who's still in jail while prosecutors appeal, met Wednesday with the Reverend Al Sharpton.

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  • by da law Location: cleveland oh on Sep 20, 2007 at 07:52 PM
    white boys and black boys get beat up in school everyday all across the U.S.,and the punishment is called a sunspension.I'am sure the kids that hung the noose made their parents proud.Oh! the probably taugt them too hate,what a learnig enviroment.
  • by Astonished Location: Chocowinity on Sep 20, 2007 at 06:00 PM
    I am astonished at the publics' reaction to this whole incident. We are forgetting as Americans that right is right and wrong is wrong. The school system, the public officials, and the parents of all the students are to blame for this. It's not racial, it's just hate. They all should have been punished from the beginning. It should not have been allowed to go this far. I know that in our town, both parties would have been in serious trouble from the get go. Any human, regardless of race, should not be allowed to behave like those students. They have all been taught to act like they did. Furthermore, society fuels their behavior. It's wrong either way you look at it. It's simply heartbreaking that all this started over something as stupid as a tree that could not be shared by all races equally. When are we going to get over the hurdles of hurting each other, and blaming it on discrimination. There is NO EXCUSE for anyone to hurt another human being for any reason. Physically or emotional
  • by bart lane Location: new bern on Sep 20, 2007 at 03:04 PM
    when four white men beat a black man jesse jackson and al sharpton were right there saying that the penalties werent enough even though the men went to prison. so since when is 6 men beating up another not attempted homicide?seems to me its only not attempted homicide if its the jenna six,my nephew who is white got in a fight with another boy who was white and both were charged with attempted homicide. maybe we should have a rally and get everyone riled up here. its rediculous to pick a battle over something where the parties are guilty,thats not the 20s all over again in the 20s it was about inocent men.
  • by Voncile Location: Plymouth NC on Sep 20, 2007 at 02:23 PM
    I just wanted to say that they shouldn't get charge. Things like this goes on in every school in the whole world. All they should get is 10 days out of school for fighting just like it is in the rule book. If it was 6 white boys who had done it this wouldn't even been this big all they would have got was 10 days out of school. It think that the black boys should get 10 days out of school and the white boys should get the whole year for for what they did. All them people down there that is trying to get them put in jail just don't want them to finish school and have a bad record.
  • by crystal Location: washington on Sep 20, 2007 at 01:41 PM
    THere is no need to try to play down the issue of those kids placing nooses in trees as "no big deal" since it didnt hurt anyone. Prostition doesnt necessarily "hurt" anyone yet it is against the law. Placing a noose in a tree just brings up painful memories of slavery and our history. All the parties involved "victim" and all, were in the wrong and when your in the wrong you have to suffer the consequences.
  • by ECU STUDENT Location: PITT COUNTY on Sep 20, 2007 at 12:51 PM
  • by Older and Wiser Location: Washington, NC on Sep 20, 2007 at 10:51 AM
    Al $harpton is loving every second of this because he's once again able to get his face back into the national spotlight. The media needs to stop sensationalizing stories like this because it only seems to make these types of situations worse. Sure, there were things that lead up to the beating of the white teen, but the question is, did any of these previous things include attacks of physical violence? If so, I believe this would have been splashed all over the news before now. I just cannot see these 6 black teens who beat 1 lone white teen as victims. They broke the law by using physical violence causing bodily harm and should pay the price for their actions. If they aren't punished for what that did, we're telling everyone it's okay to solve your problems using physical violence. As the old saying goes, You Do the Crime, You Do the Time, and this should apply to everyone, no matter what the color of their skin. The US Constitution does not give us the right to "Not Be Offended."
  • by Dale Location: Washington on Sep 20, 2007 at 10:16 AM
    Totally agree with K9COP
  • by Kelly Location: Rocky Mount, NC on Sep 20, 2007 at 09:28 AM
    I am disgusted and outraged at the response to the Jena,LA charges! Are these protesters serious? So what if nooses were found in trees on the school campus. No bodily injuries wer inflicted. Think about this: What would the response be had the 5 attackers been white and the victim had been black? The situation would be the same, there would be busloads heading to Louisiana to protest for the one black that had been attacked. It is too bad that caucasians cannot band together, or we just don't, and stand up for the real victim here, the young man that was beaten. What is to be next if these boys get away with this crime?
  • by Fay Location: Hubert, n.c. on Sep 20, 2007 at 09:22 AM
    I think that Rev Al Sharpton and the civil rights activists are the racist. They jump on any situation they can to keep black people upset even when there is no basis for it. If it was a black boy that had been beaten up, they would all be there too - saying that the white boy was not punished enough for his crime. In this case they are there to say that the black boy is being punished too much for his crime. A Reverend should be trying to keep peace instead of always trying to incite riots and make all black people think they are being discriminated against - when in reality it is the WHITE people that are being discriminated against.
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