Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney will speak about the Jena 6 case in Seattle on Nov. 10 at New Hope Baptist Church, 124 21st Ave., Seattle, 7 p.m. The speech will injustices in the case itself and whatever happens at the pre-trial hearing on Nov. 7.
The case of the Jena 6 has brought international attention to this country's criminal justice system and to continuing race discrimination in the South and elsewhere. Nooses have been hung in several places recently, including Columbia University in New York City, provoking outrage and setting off reactions around the country.
Jena itself has been the focus of protest. On Sept. 20, tens of thousands of people demonstrated there and in other cities around the country to demand complete freedom for the Jena 6, and the release of Mychal Bell.
A week later, after 10 months in prison, Bell's conviction was overturned and he was granted bail. Shortly afterwards, the Louisiana judge who originally tried Bell ordered him back into custody, and is sending him back to jail for 18 months for violating probation from an earlier conviction.
Many advocates feel the Jena 6 case illustrates America's unequal justice system. And they note that many states continue to fail to report hate crimes.
Rep. McKinney represented Georgia's 4th District from 1993 to 2003. She has spoken on both national and international justice issues, and is a firm opponent of the war in Iraq. She is the only member of Congress to present Articles of Impeachment against President Bush, Vice-President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. McKinney reportedly enrolled in the Green Party earlier this month in California, where she is a Ph.D. candidate in African American studies at the University of California at Berkeley. A draft McKinney movement is petitioning to place her on the Green Party's 2008 presidential primary ballots.