Posted Jan. 22, 2008 – Now that another group has finished marching on the tiny central Louisiana town of Jena , the local residents are calling for one final march. They want everybody – Black and White organizations, activists, and all manner of media-types – to march on away from there and don’t come back.
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"I'm hoping this is the last of it," said Jena resident Dayna Brown, a Black woman, who spoke to The Associated Press following the misnamed “Jena Justice Day” rally by a White supremacist group protesting Martin Luther King Day Monday. "Jena 's not a bad place to live if you're Black or White. We'd just all like to see things settle down."
The march, called for by the Nationalist Movement, a White separatist group, attracted a wisp of a crowd – 30 or so participants – many of whom carried rifles or holstered side arms. However, according to local law-enforcement officials, there were no reported acts of violence and no arrests at the “pro-majority” rally.
The biggest crowd in Jena on Monday was composed of anti-Nationalist protestors, pictured above, about 100 of them, who lined the streets and chanted, “No KKK,” “No KKK….” Jena landed in the national news after six Black teens were charged with attempted murder for beating a White classmate.
On Sept. 20, about 20,000 people poured into the town of fewer than 3,000 residents to protest the seeming harshness of the prosecutor’s charges, which were later reduced to assault.
Monday’s MLK Day rally was organized as a protest to the September gathering. Jena had imposed a $10,000 bond on the Nationalists, saying that it had to be posted before the group could meet. The Nationalists sued, and a judge agreed that the bond is unconstitutional.
"I'm here to protest Black-on-White crime," David Dupre Sr., 53, told reporters. His son, 31, used the word "n***er" in describing African Americans. "It's time for us White folks to start getting some of our rights back," he said.