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Protesters Demand Reform During Seventh Night Of Protests

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Travis Lux
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Thousands of protesters gather at the intersection of Broad and Tulane, outside NOPD headquarters, on the seventh consecutive night of protests.

A day after protesters squared off with the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) on the Crescent City Connection, an incident that ended with officers tear-gassing them, demonstrators held a peaceful protest Thursday night without incident.

It was the seventh day of protests in New Orleans. Thousands gathered at Duncan Plaza as organizers laid out their demands: to be able to hold police accountable by subpoena power; for the NOPD to be defunded and for more money to be spent on social work and job development, in order to address systemic inequities and the disproportionate number of black people in poverty; and they want the city to pay to relocate residents from the polluted former landfill site of Gordon Plaza.

They also demanded living wages, protective gear for laborers, such as sanitation workers, and hazard pay for essential workers being exposed to the risks of COVID-19.

Angela Kinlaw, with Take ‘Em Down NOLA, addressed city leaders, demanding they change their spending priorities.

“Don't tell me you don't have the money in a city that brings in $8.7 billion from the tourism industry...The money is here! Get it! Find it! Make it happen!” said Kinlaw, drawing cheers from the crowd. “We have to defund the police and fund the people!”

Protesters then marched about four miles through the Central Business District, Central City and Broadmoor before crossing the overpass on North Broad to NOPD headquarters. Organizers pulled a rented U-haul pickup truck onto the neutral ground and addressed the huge crowd, celebrating the peaceful protest, and looking forward to the rally on Friday night at Jackson Square. One organizer, Big E, called the march a success and led the crowd in a chant that intimated they had plans to remove the Andrew Jackson monument the square is named after. “We can get no satisfaction! Until we take down Andrew Jackson!”

Take ‘Em Down NOLA has attempted to get the statue removed for years, in their effort to remove all statues, street names and schools that bear the names of white supremacists. Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, was a slave owner and violently forced Native Americans off their land.

Tegan has reported on the coast for WWNO since 2015. In this role she has covered a wide range of issues and subjects related to coastal land loss, coastal restoration, and the culture and economy of Louisiana’s coastal zone, with a focus on solutions and the human dimensions of climate change. Her reporting has been aired nationally on Planet Money, Reveal, All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Marketplace, BBC, CBC and other outlets. She’s a recipient of the Pulitzer Connected Coastlines grant, CUNY Resilience Fellowship, Metcalf Fellowship, and countless national and regional awards.

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