Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Free the Jena 6: Day of Action 20 September--Go to Jena or Buy a t-shirt

I've been meaning to post about this horrible situation in Jena, Louisiana. With the federal government's clear demonstration of its estimation of the poor blacks, Native Americans /American Indians, and whites of New Orleans, and in the absence of a major "natural" disaster (can't really call anticipated levee failure "natural") the powers-that-be in Jena felt quite comfortable with charging six black male high school students with attempted murder for retaliating against a beating sustained by one of them at the hands of a group of white male students. These white male students had also hung nooses from a tree in a series of incidents that started with the young black males being given permission(!) from a school official to sit under the unofficial "whites-only" tree! I'll tell you, I'm still listening to Mavis Staples' We'll Never Turn Back and on the cut, "Down In Mississippi," she talks about being so happy to see the day when "Dr. King got all those ["Colored Only" and "White Only"] signs removed."

Reed Walters, the District Attorney in the case, reportedly said to the young black men that he could "take your lives with a stroke of my pen." Wait, what year are we in again? BTW the white student that was beaten by the black students was taken to the hospital, treated and released that day and was well enough to attend a social event later that evening. I don't condone any of the violence that has occurred, but I've yet to hear any evidence supports the "attempted murder" and "conspiracy to commit murder" charges made by the district attorney.

"Six Black Jena High students, Robert Bailey (17), Theo Shaw (17), Carwin Jones (18), Bryant Purvis (17), Mychal Bell (16) and an unidentified minor, were expelled from school, arrested and charged with second-degree attempted murder. Bail was set so high -- between $70,000 and $138,000 -- that the boys were left in prison for months as families went deep into debt to release them." (from Bill Quigley, "Injustice in Jena as Nooses Hang From the ‘White Tree,'" truthout, July 3, 2007)

The Color of Change Organization ("Changing the Color of Democracy") which emerged in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina started an online petition protesting the treatment of the Jena 6 resulting in 140, 246 signatures to date (their goal is 150,000) and a march attended by a multi-ethnic group of 300 on the Jena courthouse on July 31st, the day of sentencing for the first defendant, Mychal Bell, who refused to accept a plea bargain. That date they also delivered 43,000 petitions to District Attorney Reed Walters, and noted the receipt of 60,000 emails by Governor Blanco who had said she was powerless to intervene on the local matter. You can go to Color of Change for background history of the case. Jstheater also has a post on the case and the Bronzebuckaroo has a post noting the parallels between the Jena 6 and the Scottsboro Boys case from the 1930s.

Color of Change is planning a Day of Action in Jena on 20 September 2007, the new date set for Mychal Bell's sentencing, and is asking people to come to Jena to participate. But if, like me, you can't be there you can purchase the Free the Jena 6 t-shirt and wear it in solidarity on September 20th, as well as calling various officials in Jena. GoodStorm, whose motto is "Capitalism Done Right," has paired with Color of Change to offer the T-shirts for $10.00. If you purchase the shirt by 6 September @ midnight then they can promise you'll get it by the 20th. All proceeds from sales (minus shipping) go to the Jena 6 defense fund.

With GoodStorm's shipping policy you'll probably want to go for the 2-Day shipping which costs $13.00, but at least you'll get it in time for the Day of Action. Also, you can save money if you order in a group, although that can add to your order fulfillment time as the t-shirts are printed to order. Nevertheless, if I were you I'd order my t-shirt ASAP. The high traffic on the GoodStorm site resulted in my order process taking almost 1 whole hour! Also, they don't deliver to P.O. Box or APO addresses, they don't ship outside the U.S., and they don't take PayPal (but they're working on the last two: I guess capitalism done right presents its own bureaucratic challenges). I've copied the Shipping and Return info from the site below, to save you spending time navigating to and from that page for shipping-time & cost information.

From the GoodStorm site:
Production and Shipping Time for T-Shirt Orders

At GoodStorm we work to process all orders within 2 to 5 business days. Please add 2-5 business days to the shipping timeframes below when calculating when your order may arrive.

Our standard method of shipping is by Super Saver. We also offer 2 Day and Next Day shipping for an additional cost. We ship via UPS or DHL for 2-Day or Overnight shipping. For Super Saver, we ship via USPS delivery confirmation shipping. At this time we cannot ship to PO Box or APO/FPO locations.

With Super Saver, most orders arrive at your doorstep within 2-6 business days after printing (so total time from placing your order to receiving it can be 4 to 11 business days). We have found that USPS delivery confirmation can occasionally take up to 2 weeks to arrive. Larger orders may also take a little longer to arrive. If you need help with an order you placed, please contact us.


Each shirt we sell is custom printed to order. We will honor requests for returns, exchanges, or refunds only in cases where you received a size, color, or style other than what you ordered; or if items are defective. We will honor such requests placed within 60 days of the original order date.

Shipping costs are not refundable.

If you received the wrong item, or a defective item, please contact to initiate a return authorization and receive further instructions. We are not responsible for items returned without prior authorization.

Shipping rates:

Method Transit Time First Item Each Additional
Super Saver 2-6 business days $5.95 $1.00
(from shipping date)
2-Day 2 business days $13.00 $1.50
(from shipping date)
Next Day 1 business day $25.00 $2.00
(from shipping date)
*** GoodStorm does not currently ship internationally or to PO Boxes and APO/FPO locations.
International Shipping

Unfortunately, we do not ship outside the U.S. at this time.


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