Louisiana

Monday, July 11, 2016

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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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Y@ Speak: #OpenForEssence

Posted By on Tue, Jul 5, 2016 at 1:45 PM

Last week Twitter got together for some good old-fashioned online shaming during the 2016 Essence Festival. Also: #MrStealYourGrandma made it to New Orleans, we say goodbye to Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson, and people camped outside a Raising Cane's.

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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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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Elbert Guillory's got a lovely bunch of coconuts

Posted By on Tue, Jun 21, 2016 at 2:23 PM

Former state Sen. Elbert Guillory: "These — are coconuts."
  • Former state Sen. Elbert Guillory: "These — are coconuts."
In a state full of colorful politicians, if you want attention, you've got to stand out from the pack — and former state Sen. Elbert Guillory, who's now running for the 4th Congressional District seat in the U.S. Congress, is one of Louisiana's most reliably colorful candidates.

Last year, he recorded a video in which he used the n-word multiple times in order to "start a dialogue on race" in America (Guillory himself is black). The year before, he appeared on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart to defend the sport of "chicken boxing," which he said definitely was not cockfighting: "I'm not a fan of cockfighting, but I love to go and watch some chicken boxing." In 2013, while defending the Louisiana Science Education Act (which opens the door for teaching creationism in public schools), Guillory captured wide attention for mentioning his positive experience with what sounded like a witch doctor:
If I closed my mind when I saw this man in the dust throwing some bones on the ground, semi-clothed, if I had closed him off and just said, ‘That’s not science, I am not going to see this doctor,’ I would have shut off a very good experience for myself. 
Now Guillory is back with a new video, titled "Coconuts" — and if that allusion escapes you, Elbert Guillory will spell it out, complete with a pair of low-hanging, uh, coconuts as illustration:
These — are coconuts. In Louisiana, when someone has courage, and fortitude, and the ability to stand up when others stand back, we say that she, or he, has coconuts.
It's a metaphor, you see, for a perceived lack of testicular fortitude in our nation's capitol, and ... oh, hell, It's probably best if you just watch the whole thing.

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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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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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Monday, June 6, 2016

Y@ Speak: hurricane season

Posted By on Mon, Jun 6, 2016 at 5:35 PM

As the Louisiana Legislature turns into "that season of an animated series they had to finish in Korea"-level collapse, we brace for the beginnings of hurricane season, a time to horde water and chips like we're all your prepper uncle.

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