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Hundreds protest racist violence in New Orleans, police attack demonstrators

By Dylan Sojic-Borne |
June 4, 2020
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Protest against police crimes in New Orleans.
Protest against police crimes in New Orleans. Protest against police crimes in New Orleans.

New Orleans, LA - The night of June 3, hundreds of New Orleans protesters climbed the Crescent City Connection to fight racist violence and demand justice for police murders. The Connection is a highway bridge that crosses the Mississippi River to connect the East and West banks of New Orleans. The protesters fought as part of the Black Lives Matter and Justice for George Floyd movements, rallying behind various calls to abolish prisons and police.

“No justice, no peace!” and “Black Lives Matter!” rang up and down the highway. Black participants came right up to the mic to express their disgust for the police.

The New Orleans Police Department showed up in full riot gear and attacked. They launched tear gas, almost starting a stampede on a bridge with a 170-foot drop to the Mississippi River. Then, they beat protesters with clubs, shot rubber bullets, and arrested five demonstrators. This was clear political repression to put down a powerful anti-racist movement. All this after they ‘took a knee’ to feign support for protesters the night before.

“The police and prisons are here to protect the rich” yelled an anonymous speaker. “We can’t talk to cops, we must abolish police and prisons.”

In the neighboring Jefferson Parish on May 28, an officer shot and killed a 35-year-old Black man: Modesto “Desto” Reyes. Desto Reyes was a well-known rapper and Hard Rock Hotel collapse survivor. The protest stood in solidarity with his family, which called their own event the next day at 2 p.m. More demonstrations have taken place over the past week in New Orleans and other Louisiana cities such as Marrero, Lafayette and Baton Rouge.

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