Baton Rouge

Monday, July 18, 2016

Y@ Speak: #BatonRouge, "I got you"

Posted By on Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 6:45 PM

Following Alton Sterling's death, protests against police brutality and Sterling's funeral, more tragedy in Baton Rouge. Also this week: Skip Holden and Pokemon fever.

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Monday, July 11, 2016

Photographer Jonathan Bachman on how he got that iconic photo of the Baton Rouge protests

Posted By on Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 8:15 PM

A screenshot from the Reuters website, showing Jonathan Bachman's photo of the moment that police arrested Ieshia Evans. - JONATHAN BACHMAN/REUTERS
  • JONATHAN BACHMAN/REUTERS
  • A screenshot from the Reuters website, showing Jonathan Bachman's photo of the moment that police arrested Ieshia Evans.

It's a photo that's gone around the world via newspapers, television and social media: Two law enforcement officers in heavy gear — who appear to be Louisiana State Police — approaching a young woman in a long dress who is standing in the middle of Baton Rouge's Airline Highway, directly in front of Baton Rouge Police Department headquarters. The woman is about to be arrested for blocking the highway; she stands with perfect posture, impassive.

The photographer who captured the image is Jonathan Bachman, a New Orleans freelancer who was on assignment for Reuters that night. 

"When I took that picture, I had no idea it would get this kind of response," Bachman told Gambit, adding that CNN had been calling his mother in New Jersey, trying to get in touch with him. "When I was taking the photo, it was just a photo that represented what was going on in the moment." 

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Y@ Speak: #AltonSterling and #BatonRouge

Posted By on Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 6:00 PM

Twitter allows us nearly minute-by-minute live accounts of anything happening at any time, including the overwhelming, war-like response to protests and marches in the wake of Alton Sterling's death by Baton Rogue police officers last week. Reports from the weekend's protests have used words like "standoff" to describe what was more like a one-sided riot response — where there was no riot. This week's edition follows last week's vigils, rallies and updates from Baton Rouge, all aired on Twitter by the hundreds of witnesses who were there.

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Friday, July 8, 2016

"This is what democracy looks like": New Orleans rallies for justice, Black Lives Matter

Posted By on Fri, Jul 8, 2016 at 11:20 PM

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Thousands of people surrounded Lee Circle as the sun set on New Orleans July 9, nearing the end of a tragic week in the U.S. — the killing of Alton Sterling by Baton Rouge police, the killing of Philando Castile by Minnesota police during a traffic stop, and a violent night in Dallas ending in the deaths of five officers during a rally calling for an end to police violence in the wake of the two men's deaths. Spanning the base of the Robert E. Lee monument, a banner read "Black Lives Matter."

The message was spread on posters, placards and T-shirts and in call-and-response, fist-in-the-air chants among a peaceful, emotional crowd holding hands, hugging and wiping tears from friends' faces. As the crowd circled the monument, Angela Kinlaw, addressing the crowd with a megaphone, said, "This is what democracy looks like."

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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Rally, protest planned in New Orleans following police shootings

Posted By on Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 5:30 PM

Flyer for a rally at Lee Circle July 8.
  • Flyer for a rally at Lee Circle July 8.
Following the killing of Alton Sterling by Baton Rouge police officers, protests and vigils at the convenience store where he died, and the killing of Philando Castile, shot by police in Minnesota during a traffic stop, plans for protests and vigils are underway in New Orleans.

Event organizers for The 505 — a group named after Sterling as the 505th victim of a police shooting in 2016 — plan a "peaceful performative protest" outside New Orleans Police Department headquarters at 715 S. Broad St. Friday, July 8. It begins at 4 p.m. with a potluck followed by the sound of a gunshot at 5 p.m. to signal participants to lie on the ground until 6 p.m.:
"What police are doing in America today is unacceptable. The aim of this performance is to show our local police force how many people have died this year alone in the hands of their greater organization. We hope that they will see us on the ground as they head home to their families, and see us in their minds the next time they reach for their guns."
There also is a rally at 7 p.m. Friday, July 8 at Lee Circle.

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Y@ Speak: "still in the hole"

Posted By on Mon, Jun 27, 2016 at 6:20 PM

This week: Irvin Mayfield had a breakfast, Baby Cakes should win by default, and Buddy & The Brow is gearing to be  the best buddy cop flick of 1981. Also: Baton Rouge and England explode simultaneously and the heat is strong enough to bend time.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Y@ Speak: New Orleans Pride

Posted By on Mon, Jun 20, 2016 at 5:30 PM

While Congress is busy putting its thoughts and prayers to work, New Orleans celebrates Pride. Also: the short-term rental debate: Chapter 8,000, and the state Legislature melts into a terrible candle.

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Once more, unto the breach?

Posted By on Fri, Jun 17, 2016 at 4:16 PM

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Louisiana lawmakers have until midnight Thursday, June 23, to conclude the second special session of 2016. They have been meeting more or less continuously since Feb. 14, and by now they’re pretty much tired of looking at each other.

But their work is far from done, according to Gov. John Bel Edwards, who summoned them into both special sessions and is said to be considering yet another — yes, a third — if this one doesn’t meet his expectations.

The governor wants lawmakers to boost state revenue by $600 million in the current session. Most lawmakers, including many who support Edwards, say the state could get by with $300 million to $450 million. By either count, the state is still short.

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Y@ Speak: hate won't win

Posted By on Mon, Jun 13, 2016 at 5:30 PM


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Friday, June 10, 2016

Lawmakers' political games are hurting Louisiana

Posted By on Fri, Jun 10, 2016 at 4:50 PM

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Like Nero fiddling while Rome burned, the leadership of the Louisiana House of Representatives has played childish political games as the state descends further into fiscal chaos. Evidence of this is overwhelming.

Since Day One of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ term, a handful of leading Republicans has blindly refused to consider reasonable revenue measures — yet they offer no real plan to cover the $2 billion deficit left by Republican former Gov. Bobby Jindal. Some of those Republicans opposed Jindal’s fiscal policies on solid philosophical grounds; now they oppose Edwards’ fiscal cures simply because he’s a Democrat. They are shameless.

Further evidence of their irresponsibility came last week. House Speaker Taylor Barras, a Republican from New Iberia, and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Neil Abramson, a Democrat from New Orleans who is in league with the GOP’s “Gang of No,” strained credulity in preventing a vote on the so-called Capital Outlay budget before the annual session adjourned. Both said the measure as approved by the Senate had unspecified “technical” defects, yet they did nothing with the bill for the final five days of the session. Abramson literally hid from his colleagues to avoid bringing up the bill for a vote. Then, one day after the regular session ended (on the first morning of the special session), Abramson’s committee approved the measure in an hour — with millions more for projects in Abramson’s district. He blamed committee staffers for that “technical” error.

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