Five months after the mass rally brought thousands of African American protesters from all over the country to Jena Louisiana in support of the Jena Six. A white supremacist group have now announced that they will hold a rally in Jena on Martin Luther King Day to protest the September march.
The Nationalist Movement said they will protest the Jena Six, a group of black teenagers charged in the beating of a white schoolmate.
The group will not have to post a $10,000 bond after a federal judge questioned the constitutionality of the city ordinance requiring the bond.
Ernest Johnson, state conference president of NAACP in Louisiana, said that the civil rights organization is aware of the march, but no counter demonstration is planned by the NAACP. “We knew about this march two months ago,” said Johnson. “A newspaper reporter broke the case and called and told us about it.”
Johnson said that a Dr. MLK program will be held at Antioch Baptist Church in Jena on the same day as the rally and that despite the planned protest, blacks in Louisiana do not plan to disrupt their events in honor of King. “A lot of people have Martin Luther King programs scheduled around the state and they are not going to cancel their programs to go to a white supremacist rally. We certainly will continue doing what we do on a King holiday, which is celebrate his legacy. We’ll just have to wait and see what occurs on Martin Luther King Day–this supremacist group might not even show up,” said Johnson. The activist said that many people may be confused by the name of the supremacist group. “The name is deceiving. It’s really the old Ku Klux Klan, they just changed their name,” Johnson alleges.
Willis Edwards, vice-president of the Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP, said that the news of a supremacist march is “quite devastating.” It proves that there is a race war in this country and we must be vigilant at all times to protect our people,” said Edwards.