Saturday, September 22, 2007

Questions and Conversation about Jena 6 Activism

1. What did you do on September 20th, the national day of protest for the Jena 6? How were your actions received?

2. In a campus setting, how do we educate others around the issue? Films, distributing flyers, tabling? What is our ask for interested newcomers? What can they do to feel invested in this case?

3. What is our ask besides justice? This sounds simple but even the NYT didn't report this clearly until yesterday's. I think there are at least three clear things: 1) throw out the charges, lower bail, or release him from his bail 2) federal legal protection and supervision 3) Remove J.P. Mauffray Jr, the judge who set Bell's bail ridiculously high. These three things are necessary in providing justice and healing for Bell's family and they also reveal deeper judicial injustices.

4. How useful are petitions at this point? Early on, the petitions were important for awareness raising and demonstrating the fullness of our protest. Frankly, they introduced a lot of people to the issue. What is their place now? Is there a critical number we are aiming for nationally and should we create one locally to carve a goal into this movement?

5. How does a campaign like this become multifaceted? This case is obviously is about the failures of the judicial court system, racial equality in schools, and the lack of representative coverage in the media. How can we work these larger issues into the narrative about Jena? And what is the first way we want these three issues to change?

6. Since the Megan Williams case is suffering from a lack of coverage and justice, is it relevant and/or appropriate to tie her into this ongoing "new" Civil Rights Movement rhetoric?

7. How do we add nuance and a truthful complexity to the claims of the "new" Civil Rights movement?

8. What should our role be in pressuring others to speak out about this issue? Is that a useful strategy. Jesse Jackson tried it on Obama with mixed results. Who has not spoken and how can get them to use their voice?

9. Are we able to self critique at this time? How do we improve and sustain energy while still fighting on the ground?

10. How can TNS and our campus organizations collaborate with your campus or organization to create a more unified voice? Any ideas?

These are some of the questions. Please start the conversation.

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