Students from Oakland High School and local activists held a press conference and rally at lunchtime today outside the school to voice their support for six black high school students in Louisiana who were charged last year with attempted murder for beating a white classmate.
(Ashley Rivers, an Oakland High School student, is shown here giving a statement).
I hear from Larry Felson, a teacher at Oakland High, that the chief of the school district’s police force tried to put a stop to the event, fearing a student walkout (which, Felson said, wasn’t part of the plan). It went on anyway.
The fight at Jena High School apparently started after white students hung nooses from a tree on campus. The white students involved in the racially charged conflict were not arrested, and many civil rights leaders argue that the punishments faced by the black students were grossly disproportionate.
A press release I received today from event organizers quotes Akua Jackson of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement as saying, “The racist arrest and prosecution of the Jena 6 youth resonates with the experience of being Black and young here in Oakland. Youth are unjustly targeted and incarcerated. …”
I’m still waiting for photos of the rally, which I couldn’t attend. I’ll post them once they come in.