Thursday, November 22, 2007

Justice From Justice Department Demanded By Marchers...

Power Concedes Nothing Without A Demand. It Never Did And It Never Will.
--Frederick Douglass

An image of abolitionist and orator Frederick Douglass was carried by this man participating in Friday’s march around the Department of Justice in Washington.

Protesters March Outside Justice Department, Decry Hate Crimes
The Washington Post

WASHINGTON | Marchers flooded Pennsylvania Avenue and surrounded the Justice Department headquarters Friday to protest what they see as a failure by the federal government to prosecute hate crimes.

The group, led by the Rev. Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III, began marching east along Pennsylvania Avenue, where they circled the Justice Department’s massive building seven times in a gesture reminiscent of the biblical Joshua’s procession around the walled city of Jericho.

Marchers filled the streets around the building and between the Justice Department headquarters and Freedom Plaza, three blocks away.

Organizers said they were motivated by the controversy over the prosecution of six black high school students in the beating of a white student in Jena, La., as well as a spurt of recent incidents in which nooses or swastikas were placed on display.

“With the increased amount of hate crimes and hate signs — hanging nooses, swastikas — that have gone on around this country unaddressed … this Justice Department has been silent… on the cases of civil rights in our times,” Sharpton said last week.

In a news release, the Justice Department said that officials remained “deeply committed to the vigorous enforcement of our nation’s civil rights laws” and that more people had been convicted of civil rights violations last year than ever before in the agency’s history.

But on Freedom Plaza, participants faulted the government.

“I feel that they’re ignoring African-Americans, Hispanics and other minorities, and treating us as if we’re insignificant and don’t need anything,” said Sheila Barnett, who traveled with a group from Cleveland.

Others said people of all ethnicities were hurting. “A lot of injustice is being done to the black race, white race, green race, whatever. We need to pull together,” said Ruth Blackwell-Rufus, from Temple Hills, Md. “I think that the Justice Department has fallen down. I think that they’re closing their eyes and they’re forgetting about the poor people.”

Jena 6 case
HOUSTON | The judge overseeing the trial of Mychal Bell, one of the defendants in the Jena 6 case, has reversed course and agreed to open Bell’s trial to the public.

But LaSalle Parish District Judge J.P. Mauffray, in a court filing, maintained that he was not required to open pretrial hearings to the news media or the public, and he argued that the media lawsuit seeking full access to Bell’s case should be dismissed.

The media lawsuit asserts that Mauffray’s earlier decision to close all the proceedings in Bell’s case runs counter to Louisiana juvenile laws and provisions of both the Louisiana and U.S. constitutions.

The suit cites a 2004 Louisiana Supreme Court ruling that all juvenile proceedings involving certain categories of violent crime must be conducted in open court.

The lawsuit is to be heard Wednesday. Bell, 17, is scheduled to go on trial Dec. 6 on charges of aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy for his alleged part in an attack on a white student at Jena High School last December.

Bell was initially tried and convicted of the charges as an adult, but an appellate court threw out the conviction, ruling that Bell should have been prosecuted as a juvenile.

| Chicago Tribune
© 2007 Kansas City Star and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.

More Jena 6 News On W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Radio:

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09-23-07~Actual Show:
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08-05-07~Actual Show:
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07/29/07~Actual Show:
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