Rev. Al Sharpton held a large rally at Whitney Young Magnet School, 211 S. Laflin, on Saturday afternoon. Featured guest was the parents of Mychal Bell the teen who has been in jail since last December for allegedly beating a white classmate.

Late Friday, word came that the Lousiana State Appeals Court tossed out his aggravated battery conviction, stating that Bell should not have been tried as an adult.

At the rally, Rev. Sharpton introduced Bell’s father, Marcus, who said, “I want to thank my brothers’ keepers who have come. They made the call to Rev. Sharpton, and he didn’t hesitate. He came right on. We appreciate it so much and my son appreciates it, Melissa [his mother] appreciates it, I appreciate it, and the town of Jena appreciates it. I want to thank you all for not only the money but your support, prayers and concern.”

Rev. Al Sampson one of organizers of the bus trips to Jena this week, encouraged everyone to get their religious leaders to take up special collections for the Jena 6. “You’ve got to challenge the church,” Sampson said. “They take up collections for various things. We’re at a point now where our lives are at stake. This is not a popularity contest.

Rev. Sharpton assured the crowd that after the trip to Jena, he would be back to address police brutality. I didn’t come here to make no nice speeches. We got an action plan.”

Sharpton thanked Cong. Danny Davis (D-7th) for being there before he came to the podium to say a few words.

Delores McCain is on her way to Jena, La.