Thousands of protesters clogged the tiny town of Jena, Louisiana, Thursday to show their indignation over what they consider unjust, unequal punishments meted out in two racially charged incidents.
Officers lead Al Sharpton, center, through Jena, Louisiana, during Thursday's protest. They swarmed over the grounds of Jena High School, where nooses were
hung from a tree in early August 2006, about three months before six black teens
known as the "Jena 6" were accused of beating a white classmate.
While the tension was palpable, news broke Thursday afternoon that the 3rd Circuit
Court of Appeal ordered a hearing within 72 hours to determine if the only one of the six still behind bars can be released.
The order has "got to be good," Mychal Bell's attorney, Bob Noel, told CNN. "It means we have a day in court. Any day in court is going to be a good day."
Earlier, there was an aura of a pilgrimage at the site where the controversial tree once stood before school administrators had it removed.
Many people touched the ground and some retrieved a lump of dirt, said CNN's Eric Marrapodi. He said the part of the town he was in was ill-prepared for the crowds -- no water or toilets were available.
In the background, groups shouted "Black power" and "No justice, no peace."
The demonstrations shut down the town of 3,000 in central Louisiana. Many residents left for the day, and government agencies, businesses and schools were closed. (continue)
Please feel free to post links to other sites regarding the Jena 6, your thoughts, and anything else in the comment section.