One group includes Rev. Al Sharpton, who is scheduled to appear there to preach a Sunday sermon in a local church. Sharpton will not stay for the planned parade, and MLK memorial service, and community celebration on Monday.
The other group, The Nationalist Movement, a self-described "pro-majority" group headquartered in Learned, Miss., plans to stage "Jena Justice Day" on Monday.
Jena, a town of about
School officials--unwilling to face inevitable exposure of the racism embedded in their 'tradition,'if they arbitrarily backed the white students' tacit segregation--allowed that there was no reason the black students couldn't also gather there. Thereupon, white students hung nooses in the tree, as a warning to the blacks, to intimidate them with explicit threat of lynching. Tensions mounted from there, and spilled over into several incidents of escalating violence, culminating in the beating of a particularly obnoxious cracker kid--one Justin Barker--by a handful of black students who'd had enough.
The black students, known later as the Jena 6, were all arrested and charged with major felonies, including assault & battery, and attempted murder, by the revenge-minded, predominantly white judicial system in the town, which was out to set an example. National controversy swirled around the charges against the six, which civil rights leaders, as well as citizens of many communities, black and white, said were overly harsh, retaliatory, and obviously race-founded. In September, a rally led by the Rev. Al Sharpton drew as many as 20,000 people in support of the teenagers who were arrested in December 2006 and charged with attacking Barker, a one of the ring-leaders among their cracker antagonists at Jena High School.
Nationalist spokesman Richard Barrett said the group wants to voice its opposition to the holiday and the so-called Jena Six, a group of black teens accused of beating a white school mate. And Barrett say they'll be packing:
JENA, La., Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Protesters with the Nationalist Movement said they "will be armed" during marches in Louisiana protesting Martin Luther King Jr. Day.Looking for a fight, much? I have a the beginnings of a pretty bad feeling about this. I'm uneasy about the fact that it seems the Klan no longer seems to think it needs the white hoods. I think that's actually a bad thing. The same way that the Pukes no longer seem to feel the need to make their lies plausible, or to disguise the naked greed, and fear-mongering in which they so profitably trade makes me uneasy...(Amended)
Richard Barrett, a spokesman for the "pro-majority" organization, said "we will be armed" for a protest of Martin Luther King Jr. Day marches that will also support six black Jena, La., teens charged with beating a white classmate, the Alexandria (La.) Town Talk said Thursday.
The remarks are in contrast to statements by the Nationalist Movement's lawyer, Gregory Aymond, who said Friday the group has "no intention" of carrying weapons following a successful lawsuit filed by the organization against the town of Jena regarding rally permit requirements, the newspaper report said.
The ruling, however, didn't address the organization's opposition to a ban on weapons during marches.
A release by the organization said attempts to search vehicles for firearms would be a violation of the court order.