UPDATE: As of 8:30 pm, the protesters have walked on to I-10, stopping highway traffic near the Vieux Carre exit. We will continue to update this story here, and on WGNO News at 10 pm. NOPD tells drivers to avoid the area– no deterrence by police, and the situation remains peaceful.
New Orleans – Their words are as full of outrage as the words of any other protesters around the nation. But hundreds of protesters continue to gather and march in New Orleans, peacefully, for a fourth straight night.
The protests are organized by “Taken Em Down NOLA,” a group of civil rights activists who united during Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s 2015 initiative to remove Confederate monuments from city property.
Since Saturday, May 30, the group has gathered each evening at 6 pm at Duncan Plaza, across from City Hall. There, they’ve been joined by hundreds of fellow activists– and onlookers– to demand justice for all black Americans after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week.
Last night the group marched from Duncan Plaza and into the narrow streets of the French Quarter and back again, chanting slogans and waving signs. There were no reports of any violence or destruction of property. NOPD Superintendent Sheaun Ferguson wants to keep it that way.
Today in a news conference, Ferguson used the phrase that’s become common among law enforcement regarding the Floyd protests: “outside agitators.”
Ferguson claims outsiders have caused the violence in other cities, and he won’t allow it in New Orleans. He urged anyone who wants to join a local protest to prevent the movement from being co-opted by those agitators.
“Don’t take the bait,” said Ferguson.
“Our city has truly been a great example of how to voice your concerns without violence.”