New Orleans Activists: 'We’re Done Talking, We’re Done Negotiating'
Advocates for police reform held a public meeting tonight in front of Jackson Square to articulate their demands ahead of Thursday’s New Orleans City Council meeting.
The sun set behind St. Louis Cathedral as Antranette Scott, with The New Orleans People’s Assembly, which has led many of the protests in recent weeks, opened by inviting about 500 attendees to imagine a different kind of city. “What would New Orleans look like if it was actually for the people who lived in New Orleans? What would New Orleans look like if we were actually trying to uplift the people?”
The meeting lasted about two and a half hours, as speakers reiterated demands made during rallies over the past few weeks. They want the city to remove all statues, street and school names that celebrate white supremacy, relocate residents who live in Gordon Plaza, a polluted former landfill, defund the New Orleans Police Department and invest more money in social services.
Michael Quess Moore, known asA Scribe Called Quess?, told everyone to email and call city counselors. “We’re done talking, we’re done negotiating,” he said. “We’re asking you to get online and issue a basic warning to our elected officials.”
Referencing policy reforms taking place across the nation after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Quess told advocates to repeat the organization’s demands. “If they can defund in Los Angeles, if they can abolish in Minneapolis, then the very least we can do in this slavery capital of this country is abolish the police!” he said, to applause.
Speakers criticized Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s response to the protests, including one at her home last week which she said “terrorized” her 12-year-old daughter. They also said that the city council’s plan to form a commission to study street names is not enough, and they want an immediate timeline for removal.
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