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Pro-Palestine activists deliver public comment at Port NOLA, one arrested

By staff

Hakm Murad speaks to port officials. | Fight Back! News/staff

New Orleans, LA – On Thursday, March 21, 60 supporters of Palestine organized by New Orleans Stop Helping Israel's Ports (NOSHIP) gathered to give public comments at the monthly board meeting of the Port of New Orleans. Participants condemned the creation of the “Innovation Embassy,” a direct business alliance and technological partnership between the Port of New Orleans and the Port of Ashdod, in Israel.

“We’re asking you to oppose the Innovation Embassy. Ask yourself why you’re choosing to embrace our city’s trade with Israel, while they’re committing genocide. I know you’re seeing green today, but you need to see the big picture,” said one commenter.

51 people signed up to give public comment. However, after about 24 comments, the Port Board motioned to cut off further speakers over alleged time constraints. The room erupted in chants of “Stop the trade, stop the aid!”

Harbor police began swarming the protesters and isolated Felix Allen, member of New Orleans for Community Oversight of the Police (NOCOP), grabbing him and throwing him to the ground. After pushing him outside and releasing him, the officers came back outside and proceeded to detain and arrest him.

“People, people, don’t you tremble, we still have the right to assemble!” chanted protesters after the arrest. The Jones/Macdonald Defense Committee, formed earlier that week to defend persecuted protesters Toni Jones and Rory Macdonald, called on its followers to call the sheriff's office and harbor police. Within hours, Allen was released. He faces trumped-up charges of disturbing the peace and resisting an officer. For updates about his defense campaign, follow @jonesxmacdonalddefense on Instagram.

#NewOrleansLA #LA #AntiWarMovement #International #MiddleEast #Palestine #NOSHIP #InJusticeSystem #PoliticalRepression #JonesMacdonaldDefenseCommittee