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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Hundreds rally, march against Trump for a second night in New Orleans

Posted By on Thu, Nov 10, 2016 at 10:20 PM

click to enlarge A Nov. 10 march ended at Lee Circle.
  • A Nov. 10 march ended at Lee Circle.

A second night of protests in New Orleans attracted hundreds of people marching through the French Quarter and organizing future protests and community action in the wake of Donald Trump's presidential election. A Nov. 9 march — in solidarity with thousands of other Americans in several U.S. cities the day after the election — attracted media scrutiny for graffiti and vandalism. The group at the Nov. 10 protest admonished the vandalism, which the group attributed to a handful of people who acted out of step with most of the protestors marching that night.

Tonight's march through the Quarter, including two passes down Bourbon Street, gained supporters (and a few middle fingers and boos) as it wound from Lee Circle and back with police escorts blocking traffic. One couple in Denver Broncos jerseys cheered the group as it passed the CBD, then joined in.
click to enlarge An anti-Trump march moves up Bourbon Street Nov. 10.
  • An anti-Trump march moves up Bourbon Street Nov. 10.
Police beefed up their presence in the area, with officers stationed up Howard Avenue, on the roof of a nearby building, and along the march route. Earlier today, New Orleans Police Department Chief Michael Harrison said the department would be prepared, and Mayor Mitch Landrieu said "lawlessness and destruction of property will not be tolerated." Today, cleanup crews removed most of the graffiti from the Robert E. Lee monument.

More than 200 people met on the grass at Lee Circle and discussed the Nov. 9 protest, plans to organize over the next weeks and months leading up to the inauguration, and how to coordinate with existing community organizations. "We can make progressive change without vandalism," one woman said. "It doesn't reflect what we share, which is love."

Protestors aimed to send a message that rejects Trump's campaign, agenda and potential policy platform, which they fear is racist, sexist, harmful to women, LGBT people, immigrants and people of color. During the march, people chanted "Donald Trump, go away, racist, sexist, anti-gay" and "No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA."

Nicky Cao with Vayla New Orleans urged protestors to include New Orleans groups supporting LGBT people and black youth, among other marginalized communities. Alfred Marshall with black workers organization Stand With Dignity said the group wasn't aware of last night's protest and encouraged cooperation, particularly halting plans for Orleans Parish jail construction (pointing to Trump's election and surging private prison stocks).

"We all have something to bring," said one woman, who urged people to meet others at the protest. "Have that dialogue of little acts of activism ... Maintain that mentality day in and day out."
click to enlarge Protestors stopped briefly on Canal Street during an anti-Trump march Nov. 10.
  • Protestors stopped briefly on Canal Street during an anti-Trump march Nov. 10.
Jaleel, a Muslim man, joined the protest after seeing the previous night's event. "This is a march that represents love and unity," he said. "We have to hold tight to each other ... We will survive. We are Americans."

"The president elected two days ago is not what I sacrificed my life for," said Tracy Riley, a retired U.S. Army Major. Riley offered the group space for discussion on WBOK-AM.

As the march traveled through the CBD and French Quarter, people stepped out of bars and restaurants, corner stores and hotel lobbies to cheer, dance, or, mostly, shoot video on their phones. One group of men gathered at a "Marines Drink Free" event clashed with a few protesters as the march headed down St. Charles Avenue.

A large group of Loyola University students joined the march as it returned to Lee Circle, where dozens of people stood on the steps under the monument's pedestal, chanting "Black Lives Matter," "Pussy grabs back" and "My body, my choice." The crowd then broke into groups to plan more events.

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