As many as 20,000 demonstrators flooded the streets of the tiny Louisiana town of Jena yesterday to protest the treatment of the "Jena 6"— the black high school students charged with felonies after the beating last year of a white student. An appeals court at midday ordered a hearing within 72 hours to determine if the lone teen still behind bars can be released.
Despite the recent events, many Jena residents say that there is no racial divide in their town. "We get along fine. This is something that got out of proportion," said one. The beating at Jena High School occurred three months after white students hung nooses from a tree on school grounds. The white students were briefly suspended.