Africana, political experts weigh in on continued peaceful New Orleans protests

Africana, political experts weigh in on continued peaceful New Orleans protests
Residents lead a peaceful protest of the death of George Floyd. (Source: WVUE)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - It’s the way of a public trying to change the world around them: hundreds of marchers taking to the streets to protest.

“For support, Black Lives Matter, I have two black sons and a black daughter so justice has to be served,” said one protester.

“It’s not just black out here, it’s all different races to say ‘hey we need to make a change’,” said another protester.

As New Orleans Police continue to support and block traffic to make way for the marchers, NOPD Chief Shaun Ferguson cautioned there may be outside instigators who want to turn towards violence.

“We will not and shall not allow any outsiders or anyone come into our city and destroy our city,” said Ferguson.

“They need to go they need to go they’re not here for us we’re here for justice they’re here for other reasons,” said one protester.

Referring back to events in history, Tulane Africana studies professor Nghana Lewis says unfortunately violence has accompanied major movements like these, but out of them come change. She says it’s crucial the purpose and message is heard clearly and resonates across the country.

“The civil rights movement and it’s modern context many of the images associated with that are images of violence… I think that that’s part of our continuing growth as a nation we are always striving to be a more perfect union,” said Lewis.

“This is sort of the perfect storm of protests, we have a company that’s badly divided politically and then on top of that you have the murder of a black man by police,” said Robert Collins, PH.D.

The protests are about much more than a single event in Minneapolis according to political analyst Robert Collins. He says protesters are speaking in part to both local and national leaders to make some tangible policy changes, to improve the lives at stake.

“Improve the lives of the dispossessed, improve the lives of the working class, improve the lives of black men and women feel like they are being targeted by the police… I think it’s going to take some dialogue and material intervention by Congress before things settle down,” said Collins.

Ferguson said they are trained and are constantly investigating potential instigators.

Collins also said the culture of New Orleans has seemingly lent itself to these peaceful protests, as coordinators maintain a rapport with the NOPD.

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