Pro-Palestinian Protests

Updates | Pro-Palestinian Protests Sweep US, Tents Set Up in New Orleans Amidst Calls for Ceasefire

New Orleans, LA – April 29, 2024 – Pro-Palestinian demonstrations have erupted across the United States in recent days, with New Orleans joining the movement with a peaceful protest setting up camp in Jackson Square.

Tents Erected in Jackson Square

On Sunday afternoon, around three dozen pro-Palestinian supporters gathered in New Orleans’ iconic Jackson Square. The protestors displayed their message through signs, the Palestinian flag, and a unique tactic – erecting at least ten green tents on the lawn surrounding the statue of Andrew Jackson.

The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) responded to the scene around 5 p.m., maintaining a watchful presence from the sidewalk bordering the square’s interior. The protest itself remained peaceful, with participants engaging in various activities like burning incense, dancing, and sharing food.

Messages of Protest

The protestors’ messages were clear and diverse. While some signs demanded an immediate ceasefire and freedom for Palestinians, others targeted entities perceived as complicit in the situation. Oil companies and the upcoming New Orleans Jazz Fest were amongst those criticized.

One protestor utilized a noise amplifier to voice the purpose of the demonstration. They highlighted the nationwide student-led movement protesting the ongoing conflict in Gaza and the US government’s support for Israel.

The legality of the tents remained unclear. While a police officer acknowledged that setting up tents in Jackson Square is prohibited, they did not confirm any action to remove them as of Sunday evening. Four officers were present at the scene by 5:30 p.m.

Series of Protests in New Orleans

This protest marks at least the third pro-Palestinian demonstration in New Orleans this week alone. Earlier actions included a brief shutdown of Poydras Street in the Central Business District on Wednesday and a gathering of Tulane and Loyola University students that temporarily closed St. Charles Avenue on Friday.

In recent months, similar demonstrations have taken place in the West Bank area of Jefferson Parish and downtown New Orleans. While these protests have generally been peaceful, an incident near Tulane University in October resulted in a brief moment of violence when pro-Palestinian protestors attempted to burn an Israeli flag.

Separate Shooting Incident in Escambia County

It’s important to clarify that a separate incident reported on Sunday involved a shooting on West Jackson Street in Escambia County, Florida. This event, which occurred early Saturday morning, resulted in the tragic deaths of three individuals. The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident as a targeted ambush, with no suspects identified as of yet.

The New Orleans protests and the Escambia County shooting are unrelated events, though both involved locations with similar street names

By mdhanif

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