Caravan for Justice will be held to protest unjust sentencing of killer of Jimmie Lee Jackson

Jimmie Lee Jackson

Several months ago District Attorney Michael Jackson extracted a guilty plea from James Bonard Fowler, the killer of Jimmie Lee Jackson. Fowler pleaded guilty on November 15, 2010 to a lesser charge in the shooting death of Jackson. He subsequently was sentenced to serve 6 months in jail, not in Perry County where the brutal killing took place, but in Geneva County, the county of his residence.
Jackson was shot dead in a restaurant in the city of Marion. On the night of February18, 1965, approximately 500 people left Zion United Methodist Church in Marion and attempted a peaceful walk to the Perry County Jail about a half a block away where SCLC field worker, James Orange was being held. A line of Marion City police, sheriff’s deputies and Alabama State Troopers met them. Streetlights were abruptly turned off and the police began to beat the protestors. Then 26-year-old Jimmie Lee Jackson with his mother and grandfather ran into Mack’s Café behind the church and were pursued by Alabama State Troopers. When the troopers began to attack them in the restaurant, Jimmie Lee tried to protect his mother. Fowler shot him twice in the abdomen. Jackson died at Good Samaritan Hospital eight days later.
Jimmie Lee Jackson’s death prompted the call for a march from Selma to Montgomery on March 7, 1965. It ended when Alabama State Troopers attacked the peaceful voting rights marchers. That day became known as Bloody Sunday and helped lead to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
District Attorney Michael Jackson, who in 2005 became the first black prosecutor elected to serve Selma and surrounding counties including Perry Co., reopened the case and took it before a county grand jury, which indicted Fowler on a murder charge in May 2007.
Chapters of the SCLC, New South Coalition, Grass Roots Democracy and other groups will gather at the Edmund Pettus Bridge on February 18, 2011 in protest. Justice was not served in the sentencing of James Bonard Fowler.
The group, The Caravan for Justice, will take a slow ride to Geneva County and hold a vigil around the jail where James Bonard Fowler is serving his “sentence”.
The jails are filled with Black men accused of far less hideous crimes whose sentences are far greater.
Forty-six years after the murder of Jimmie Lee Jackson and Bloody Sunday, The Caravan for Justice will high light the injustices that still exist in the Criminal Justice System.
The Caravan will begin at the Foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma on February 18, 2011 and culminate with Jimmie Lee Jackson Day in Marion on February 20th at 2 p.m. at the Marion Baptist Academy.
President Obama’s former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright will be the featured speaker for this event.
There will also be demonstrations of concern at the annual Bridge Crossing march reenactment on Sunday, March 6, 2011 leaving Brown Chapel Church at 2:00 p.m. (See Jubilee Schedule on Page 6 of this issue).
We invite all who are willing to join us in The Caravan for Justice at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge on February 18, 2011.
For more information contact Faya Toure’ at (334) 526-2626.

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