KKK & New Black Panthers Face Off at Ugly Jena Anti-MLK Day Rally
Protesters brought KKK flags and shotguns to their anti-MLK rally in Jena, Louisiana today.
The sheriff allowed the white supremists to wear holstered sidearms.
Michael Brown, of West Monroe, La., holds a Ku Klux Klan flag as he talks with reporters in front of the courthouse in Jena, La., Monday, Jan. 21, 2008. Brown is a self-proclaimed member of the Ku Klux Klan. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)
Law enforcement officers push members of the New Black Panthers party on the Martin Luther King Jr., holiday near the LaSalle Parish Courthouse in Jena, La., Monday, Jan. 21, 2008. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Protesters and counter-protesters descended on Jena, Louisiana today for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Local WAFB Baton Rouge had a report:
Mississippi segregationist’s anti-Martin Luther King Day protest drew about 50 participants, and 100 counter-demonstrators, to the little north Louisiana town of Jena, where 20,000 had gathered in September in one of the nation’s largest civil rights demonstrations in recent years.
There was at least one arrest when about six black counter-protesters gathered in a semicircle around a podium that had been set up in front of the LaSalle Parish Courthouse by Richard Barrett, leader of the self-described “pro-majority” Nationalist Movement of Learned, Mississippi.
Dozens of state police forced the counter-demonstrators back before Barrett spoke Monday afternoon. They arrested one man who broke away from the crowd.
WAFB has video from Jena.
Acting La Salle Parish Sheriff Scott Franklin second from right talks David Dupre right, and others that have two shotguns in the back of their pickup truck on the Martin Luther King Jr., holiday near the LaSalle Parish Courthouse in Jena, La., Monday, Jan. 21, 2008. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
The Rev. Al Sharpton bowed out of the event today:
The Rev. Al Sharpton, an organizer of the September march, said he had prior commitments that would keep him away from Jena on Monday. He preached at a Jena church on Sunday, the day most King day events were held in the town.