On Monday night there was a protest in New Orleans that took place following the announcement of a grand jury’s decision to not indict the police officer who killed Mike Brown. It was no surprise that only a small group showed up: Monday the Saints played live in the Superdome. Tuesday morning I read a story about it on NOLA.com and scanned the comments, which ran the gamut from the respectful to the hateful. One made me laugh out loud: “PANTS UP – DON”T POOP.” Irreverence is as much a part of New Orleans culture as good food and music.
Monday night as I watched events unfold in Ferguson on TV while I simultaneously monitored the web. When President Obama’s live speech filled the screen soon after the announcement I couldn’t help wondering if his staff warned him it was not a good idea for him to go live so close to the announcement, as the screen might turn into a split-screen which is precisely what happened. Obama talked about people’s right to peacefully protest as the streets in Ferguson turned to chaos on live TV.
On Tuesday about 30 protesters s headed to a location that was having a Thanksgiving turkey giveaway. Those waiting on line for free food didn’t pay much attention to the them. “What are you waiting in line for? Those turkeys are yours. Just take them!” one of the protesters yelled at them.
Alexis, a protestor who manages a French Quarter restaurant and didn’t want to give me her last name, spoke about problems with both the local and state police. She brought up a shooting ruled a suicide earlier this year : A black youth supposedly shot himself in the back of a police car while handcuffed.
There was another protest in the evening. A group of about 50 took to the streets expressing their anger and frustration. They caused some traffic and made the local evening news. The NOLA chapter of the Black Youth Project 100 has planned a demonstration for Sunday that will likely be much larger. Things that shake up the county some times take a bit more time to register in New Orleans. Even so, those who took to the streets today had a lot of soul and compassion. They carried handmade signs and shared fruit salad with those on line at the turkey giveaway until their supply ran out.
Check out this video made by my favorite videographer Phin Percy who filmed the action while I shot it.