The Original Posting as it first appeared,
implicating government members listed in the "names withheld" section above
of the posting (see top) as attempts upon our abduction would follow in place of the
advocacy we sought, all of it the contriving of government on both sides of the
From: "Michelle Gross"
Communities United Against Police Brutality
To: "citizen unspecified"
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
Subject: Re: Ordeal Profiling Persecution
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2007 23:27:59 -0500
Mr.Dione, Mr. Comartin, Ms. Penny Priddy, and Mr. Cairo:
My name is Michelle Gross and I represent an organization in the state of
Minnesota, U.S.A. by the name of Communities United Against Police Brutality. We
have been aware of the incident involving Mr. Aaron James and his mother Linda
James since it occurred. After careful research and with intimate knowledge of
the workings of the police department and local judicial system, we find Mr.
James' account of the ordeal to be both accurate and distressingly unjust. While
we and others continue to support the James family in their quest for justice,
it is even more important that prominent officials in the Canadian government
such as yourselves apply pressure to the United States government to overturn
Mr. James' conviction and end all harassment of the family by U.S. government
representatives. Pressure from outside of the U.S. is often key to successful
resolution of matters involving your citizens..
I hope that your meeting tomorrow is productive and that you are able to take up
Mr. James' case as part of your agenda.
Vice President Communities United Against Police Brutality
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.
Lessons from Jena
October 14, 2007
The case of the Jena 6 was discussed with great interest on the
internet for months with petitions and calls for justice. However, it
took 100,000 people marching on the tiny town of Jena, Louisiana to
finally help this story take hold in the mainstream media. Now, millions
have been exposed to the ugly racial hatred of a “white” tree and nooses
as well as the equally ugly systematic racial discrimination of
One of the problems with most mainstream coverage is it tends to
sensationalize, framing any given situation as stand-alone, without
putting it into the broader context.
If any lesson is to be learned from the Jena 6 case, we must examine the
bigger picture of how something like this can occur in the 21st century.
Since Jena 6 made the news, there have been multiple reports of nooses
showing up on college campuses and work sites. On September 7, a noose
was found hanging from a tree outside of the multicultural center
at University of Maryland. Shortly after African American employees
launched a lawsuit in August against Navistar International of
Warrensville, Indiana alleging a hostile work environment, a bag of
nooses was found under the plant’s human resource director’s desk. The
court is expected to award the Navistar employees $9 million. Calls
on websites by white supremacists for the lynching of the Jena 6 (and
providing addresses of their families) are essentially electronic
It would be easy to view these incidents as isolated, or just
copycat actions by pockets of disgruntled white students or
employees. But, again, that’s missing the big picture: federal
government attacks on immigrants, Supreme Court rulings against
affirmative action and school desegregation, and racist
characterizations and dehumanization of Iraqi people in the media as a
result of the war have created an overarching sentiment in which
racial hatred flourishes and some are emboldened to act on that hate.
As appalling as these acts of racial hatred are, they are but a
symptom of the bigger problem—endemic institutionalized
racism. And while racism is a problem in many institutions, there
is no place in society where racial disparities are more concentrated
than in the criminal justice system, especially the juvenile justice
In it’s recent report America’s Cradle to Prison Pipeline, the
Children’s Defense Fund points out that Black youth are four times more
likely than white youth to be incarcerated for the same offense.
For drug offenses, Black youth are 48 times more likely and Latino
youth 9 times more likely than whites to get locked up. As these
youth grow up, the injustice continues. Every Black boy born in
this country has a 1 in 3 lifetime chance of ending up in prison.
“I can take away your lives with a stroke of a pen” is the threat
made by District Attorney Reed Walters to Black youth in Jena who
protested the hanging of nooses on the tree at their high school. He
later made this threat real by zealously overcharging a group of
six of those students involved in a school yard fight after being
taunted by a white classmate.
It would be comforting, perhaps, to think that sort of vicious
overprosecution happens only in backwater towns in the south. But it
would also be dead wrong. Our state, Minnesota, has the highest rate of
overprosecution and overconviction of Blacks of any state in the entire
country. This Minnesota trend holds for youth as well as adults. The
Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center detains disproportionately
more black juveniles for all forms of violations – new offenses,
warrants, and arrest and detention orders – and for longer periods than
their white counterparts.
If there is any lesson to be learned from the Jena 6 case, it’s that “Jena” cases happen in all
states all the time.
This year, we will mark the October 22 National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation by exposing the oppressive depths of the juvenile justice system and the ways in which prosecutors, judges and others
destroy the lives of our children “with a stroke of their pen.” If you
care about our youth and, indeed, our future join us as we educate and
activate the community on this vital issue.
Saturday, October 20
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Teach In on the Juvenile “Justice”
Walker Church, 3100 16th Ave S,
Did you know that parents are prohibited from assisting their children when they go to court? Did you know that children get “indeterminate” sentences and can be locked up for years on simple offenses? Did you know that kids have far fewer rights in the court system than adults? Come to this teach in and learn how the juvenile “justice” system really operates and
what you can do about it.
Sunday, October 21
Stolen Lives Commemoration Ceremony
Walker Church, 3100 16th Ave S,
Stolen lives are people who died at the hands of law enforcement. They can no longer speak for themselves but we can and will remember them and tell their stories. This year,
we will place special emphasis on young people whose lives were cut short.
Monday, October 22
Rally and March Against Police
Brutality and Injustice
Juvenile Justice Center, 626 S 6th
Rally and march for justice for all people who have experienced police
brutality, especially our youth.