Small Groups Of Segregationist Demonstrators Gather Today In Jena

Demonstrators responding to a call from a segregationist in Mississippi have begun straggling into the town of Jena, Louisiana, in small groups of twos and threes.

It's not clear yet just what kind of response there will be to the call by Richard Barrett for a protest against the Martin Luther King holiday, and against the black teenagers known as the Jena Six. Five of those teens were initially charged with attempted murder in the beating of a white schoolmate. Those charges were later reduced.

It's also not yet clear how many counter-demonstrators will be there. Eight members of the New Black Panthers arrived, surveyed the scene, and left. They said they'd issue a statement later. A small group of white counter-demonstrators is also there.

About two dozen uniformed law enforcement officers were outside the local courthouse as people began arriving. Some of the supporters of Barrett's "Nationalist Movement" are armed, despite a call from Barrett to leave guns behind. The acting sheriff, Scott Franklin, told a father and son to put away two shotguns. But they were allowed to continue to wear holstered sidearms.

One of the men told reporters he was there "to protest black-on-white crime."

Story courtesy of the Associated Press.

Story posted by Cathryn Khalil,