civil unrest and public protests

The current boil on the butt of New Orleans has erupted today – it was just a matter of time.

The festering wound that has defined the fate of public housing in New Orleans has exploded this morning at New Orleans City Hall as the City Council debates on whether or not to approve the demolition permits at four of the major housing complexes for the poor in the city.

WWL-TV and WDSU-TV have the stories – WWL-TV posts the video of the fights in City Council chambers and the parallel protests outside, of the public trying to get into the council chambers. A slideshow of photos can be found here. The Times Picayune puts forth its photos as well. WDSU is continuing to provide coverage, with a recent clip of Tracie Washington, an attorney that has been a prominent face in the public housing protests. Ms. Washington, who was in council chambers this morning on WDSU stated that Stacey Head was blatantly taunting the protestors, calling them outside agitators (a la PBJ) and blowing them kisses, accusing her of racism against the poor that are trying to gain access to public housing.

NOPD was out in force and when they finally brought in the mounted police, the horses seemed to be the deterrent that drove the protestors away from the locked gates that accesses the building. They were seen on news video spraying protestors; one officer was holding the quart size mace spray, shooting it into the crowd. It looked just like wasp spray that one uses to shoot down hornets from across the room.

CNN picked up on the story at 1230, but nary a word at the usually punctual FOX News even at 1330. MSNBC has its version here.

The most striking video on WWL depicts a young woman convulsing after being tasered by NOPD and Bill Quigley holding the taser wire shortly after. Is the use of force, taser wire and pepper spray necessary? Quigley absolutely has a point, these people wanted to attend the public city council meeting, but after the fight that broke out in chambers is it right to close it off? The city council meeting is still in the public view, WDSU and WWL are currently broadcasting the proceedings in real time.

UPDATE at 1330 – And just like that, poof – recent video in the last 15 minutes of the grounds outside city hall reveal that the protestors that have been there all morning are gone. I believe that if the weather was not rainy this could have really gotten out of control.

UPDATE at 1420 – WDSU reports that protestors are now being allowed into city council chambers – guess this is turning into live blogging.

UPDATE at 1450 – The gates are locked again to access council chambers, but if someone asks to be let in, NOPD is opening the gates – there are no crowds outside and council chambers are pretty empty according to WDSU

UPDATE at 1535 – Midura put forth a motion to demolish Lafitte Housing Development – motion approved 7-0

UPDATE at 1641 – After 45 minutes of council discussion with all members contributing, the New Orleans City Council votes 7-0 in favor of demolition of Cooper, Lafitte, Peete and St. Bernard housing developments

UPDATE at 1700 – Nagin, in a rare show of solidarity, holds a live joint press conference with the city council on the matter.

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~ by maringouin on Thursday, December 20, 2007.

4 Responses to “civil unrest and public protests”

  1. Remember Bosnia? This is America’s version of ETHNIC CLEANSING.

  2. Ethnic Cleansing? This is the United States of America, founded on principles of personal liberty. Liberty requires responsibility and accountability. This country was not founded on principles of welfare. All any immigrant was ever offered was an opportunity. Capitalism is the greatest economic system the world has ever known and is the economic extension of personal freedom.
    I am sorry there are poor people in the world, but in this country poor people are not owed anything more than an opportunity.
    HUD is a failure. The communities they created were failures. People don’t need safety nets. They need incentives to strive for. Destroying these decrepit communities is just that – an incentive to move up in the world. Instead of complaining they should be looking for ways to improve their lives.

  3. HenryM, so why don’t you offer them jobs then? You seem to be rich. Maybe you can hire them all to work at the new country club that you intend to build where their homes once stood!

    –If this is NOT an example of ethnic cleansing, then where do you propose these people go to live?? –Surely not YOUR neighborhood!

    Can you believe Henry’s elitist hubris?!? Some of these Neo-CONS are high on caviar! (or Rush Limbaugh)

  4. HenryM, so why don’t you offer them jobs then? You seem to be rich. Maybe you can hire them all to work at the new country club that you intend to build where their homes once stood!

    –If this is NOT an example of ethnic cleansing, then where do you propose these people go to live?? –Surely not YOUR neighborhood!

    Can you believe the elitist arrogance that exists today?!? Some of these Neo-CONS must be high on caviar! (or Rush Limbaugh)

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