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Racial tensions ignited over charging of blac -

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VIRGINIA TRIOLI: In a scene straight out of the '60s, tens of thousands of civil rights protesters
have descended on the tiny US town of Jena, Louisiana.

They're outraged at the treatment of six black teenagers, charged with attempted murder after a
school brawl.

The story has ignited deep racial tensions. Even the President has been drawn into the case of the
Jena Six.

Mark Simkin Reports.

MARK SIMKIN: They arrived by the busload from all over the country, flooding a town so small it has
more churches than traffic lights. In just a few hours, Jena's population swelled from 3,000 to
more than 30,000.

PROTESTER: They continue to despicably use bigotry and racism against my people.

PROTESTER: Justice is justice and it should have no colour to it.

PROTESTER: We are here to say it's not gonna be business as usual.

MARK SIMKIN: The row began when black students asked if they could sit under a tree normally
reserved for whites.

The next day there were three nooses hanging from the branches and racial tensions boiled over.

One fight left a white student unconscious but not seriously injured and the six black attackers
were charged with attempted murder. The charges have since been reduced.

REED WALTERS, DISTRICT ATTORNEY: This case is not, and never has been, about race. It is about
finding justice for an innocent victim.

MARK SIMKIN: The protesters simply don't believe that. They want to know why one boy was tried as
an adult, why he's still locked up and why white students weren't charged with anything.

AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER: What do you call hanging the nooses on the tree but racism? They
didn't bring racism into this. We rode today from Alexandria to Jena and people hung up confederate
flags. Is that racism?

GEORGE BUSH: The events in Louisiana have saddened me and I understand the emotions and all of us
in America want there to be fairness when it comes to justice.

MARK SIMKIN: Many Jena residents believe their town is unfairly portrayed. This is a reminder that
some of the civil rights battles of the '60s are still being fought.